|Just wrong that Cory and I can hit trails in Feb.|
Actually I got to go work as a ride-guide for two weeks at the Cycling House so I spent a lot of time road biking and trail running. Tucson is beautiful this time of year. The sun is almost always out, temperatures are in the high 70's and low 80's, and the occasional rain gives a greenish tint to the normal brown landscape. It doesn't do much for specificity with snowshoe training, but I'm hoping the volume of training makes up for that.
The first week of camp I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to be a guide. I needed to learn the routes, learn how to pace on a bike, and how to chop veggies like a champ (a work in progress). I was also nervous about being able to sustain my energy levels on the bike that many days in a row. My knee had flared up a bit the week before camp so I took a few down days to try to get the swelling under control, but for guiding's sake, needed to put in over 200 miles on the bike the first week. Fortunately my knee and my energy reserves were up to the task and I finished the first camp feeling pretty good physically.
|Newest flora in Saguaro NP: the face-plant|
|Looking at the remaining 14 miles of Lemmon descent|
The second week I felt much more competent on the bike. I knew I could handle the mileage and wasn't afraid to go a little harder. My knee had reacted well to the first week of training so I added in a trail run every morning to at least keep the running motion. I realized that I had lost some of my rocky trail running skills after a shorter run left me sore, but after a few days a 2 hour run felt normal again.
|Cycling House takeover of Mt. Lemmon|
I started out strong, but not all-out up the climb and picked it up as I found a good rhythm. When I run steep and technical trails I prefer short quick steps then a longer, more powerful stride when (if) it levels. This seemed to be a working pretty well for me until I hit a spot that was steeper for longer than I expected. On short steep sections sometimes I'll just power through rather than adopting the short quick stride and I made the mistake of trying to power through a section that need way more power than I had left. This left me hurting before the next level spot and final steep push to the top. I managed to pick it up some on the level and stumble up to the summit in 49:33. I wish I could say I felt good at the top, but I mostly just hurt. The run-that-became-a-walk down didn't feel great either and I spent the rest of the morning trying to get fluids and fuel back in me.
|I finally posted a time|
As much as that run hurt, it did give me more confidence for Snowshoe Nationals. I head to Wisconsin this weekend for the 10k and 1/2 Marathon US Championships, and was worried about having spent so little time running, much less on snowshoes. Having a good, solid run under my belt with enough time to recover gives me some confidence going into this weekend.
I am very excited to compete Saturday and Sunday. I have no idea what to expect, although I am confident I will be exhausted and drinking a lot of Fluid Recovery by the end of it. My goal this year is just to see what Nationals is all about and get a feel for the scene. I'd love to be in the top 10 in both races, but I have no idea if that is obtainable and mostly want to come away with a good experience. Hopefully on the flight home I will have a realistic idea of what I need to do to prepare for next year.
But today, it's Sara's and my birthday, so I'm going to go to dinner and have an ill-advised birthday beer before a big Saturday race.