Monday, February 23, 2009

Fresh Tracks 5k 2009

There's not a whole lot to add to Turi & Dave's blog about this cool little race @Camp Richardson (finish of the Tahoe Marathon events) butI'll try. We met in south Reno at 7:45 a.m. without our fourth comrade, the currently gimpy Amber Sady...drove through Carson and took Hwy 50 over Spooner and 89 down the east side of the Lake. We made good time and got there a bit early, so after we signed up, we just milled around for a bit before Turi & I did a whopping 9 minute warm-up...1st race I've ever done without stretching a thing, but I wasn't planning on starting too fast. Pre-race things to note were that none of the three of us had ever raced on snowshoes before. I hadn't been on a pair for two winters because of hip issues, and hadn't run in a pair for much longer. I'd found a smokin' deal at Sierra Trading Post, though, and ended up upgrading my Sam's Club cloggers for a good pair of Redfeathers. Dave & Turi both rented runners from Chuck @Eclipse, so we were all good to go, equipment-wise.
I couldn't help but notice that as we approached the start area, I was the only one wearing shorts, as I'd ditched the pants a few minutes prior. I'm sure my chicken legs were good for a few looks. Probably would have worn my running tights if they didn't have huge holes in them from sliding during softball. Oh well...besides a little light rain it was a beautiful morning, and I had no doubt my heart rate would be high enough to keep the ol' legs warm for a half hour. After everyone figured out which way we were starting (the course differed from last year's) we were off.
The three of us had made a bet - who could come the closest to guessing their finish time. We had looked at last year's results and were largely basing our guesses of that. We didn't know, yet, that last year's course was a little harder, so we all guessed quite a bit high. Everyone started relaxed, and the first half-mile loop, before a larger 2.6 "keyhole", was a peice of cake. With little change in course, though, I noticed a little ragged breathing about 6 minutes in, and some fatigue about 9 minutes in. There were a couple serious runners in the front last year who ran 24:19 and 27:00 on the tougher course, but they were not around this time. After taking my time out of the gate, I assumed the lead before the first loop ended and looked to steadily build on it in case I really hit the wall 2 miles in. The trail was just awesome. Picturesque and quite peaceful. The rythm of the snowshoes crunching the frozen ground was really the only sound you heard, besides the cowbell towards the finish. I need...more...cowbell! I miscalculated where I was on the course, thinking that I had 6 minutes left when I only had about three, so there was no kick, or oxygen-debt sprint to the finish for me...just me asking to make sure I didn't have to run the half mile loop again, before coasting across the line.
I watched a couple dozen finishers, including Turi and Dave, before bundling up and returning for food. There are a lot of cool people that either helped put on this race, or were running in it, including TRT race director Dave Cotter, who was grilling us up some brats and sausage. Thanks Dave! There were 36 people in the race (the smallest I've done off the track), and all of TLD finished in the top 10!
1 Chris Badolato 31 M 24.13
2 Cassidy Cichowicz 14 F 29.17
3 Doug Cichowicz 51 M 29.17
4 Turi Becker 36 M 30.14
5 Kim Field 35 F 30.28
6 Luke Castell 48 M 32.42
7 Daniel Fuller 49 M 33.07
8 Jim Meskimen 65 M 34.44
9 Kim Kennedy 48 F 36.42
10 Dave Eveland 40 M 37.28
Dave easily won the bet, but none of us were close...Turi was furthest off. He'd guessed 39:00 and ran 30:14, for an 8:46 difference. I'd guessed 30:59 and ran 24:13, for a 6:46 difference. Dave guessed 41:17 and ran 37:28, for a 3:49 difference.
As far as snowshoe vs. road, we all ran Verdi last week, and even though that course had a big hill, it was about 1200 feet lower, so...let's see how much the terrain slows you down.
I ran 18:29 and 24:13, or about 31% slower
Turi ran about 23:30 (Turi & Dave said their "official" times were off) and 30:14, + about 29%
Dave ran about 29:00 and 37:28, + just over 29%
We'd guessed we'd run 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 x our Verdi times, so were all pleasantly surprised. I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed being able to run in the snow, especially up in the mountains, so there is probably more of this type of thing in my future. I enjoyed the race itself quite a would have been nice to have a T-shirt for this year's race and not old givaways from other events, especially being that this was the first snowshoe race for all of us, but that's nitpicking. It was a fun event, extremely well marked course, which is very important for those who know me! I think this will be the last race ever where I am the youngest male. Seriously...check the Go figure.
In all fairness, Cassidy did finish second, but was really close to a minute in front of her Dad (not side by side as the official results have them) so there was NOT that big of a gap between 1 & 2. I think she was in the low-mid 28:00 range.
Good jod Team Library Dork for "stepping out of your comfort zones", not falling - or repeatedly kicking your anklebone with your snowshoes, like I though we all would. We done good. Til next time...
ps-Dave, who was the cougar that was wantin' you to stay up there???

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

You Gotta Be Crazy to run after two weeks off with injuries and bronchitis!

All true, but I had a blast! Probably had as much to do with the company and the beer than the run itself, but it was nice to see a few runners I hadn't seen in a while. Team Library Dork (Amber, Dave, Turi, and myself) ran the 23rd annual You Gotta Be Crazy run in Verdi on Sunday. Dace apparently knew better than I did that I would run, because as of dinnertime the night before, as I was finishing a Valentine's Day feast at Cafe de Thai (and polishing off the first of two beers) I still had zero intention of running the next morning. I was going to watch the rest of the team, and to sample 2 delicious Barleywines afterwards. I even packed the camera. Alas, after beer #2, I promptly decided I was sick of not running, and pretty much decided to run right before bed. I still got up and went to the gym in the morning, partly to get a bit of a warm-up in, as i knew my "jog" before the run would be short and sweet. Instead, I did 40% of my 20-set circuit training routine, and soaked in the hot tub for 10 minutes. Now that's warm!

The weather was blustery and the snow was back and forth. Cool to run a race in the snow...and it wasn't even too cold, although I did wear my oh-so-cool arm warmers and short sleeves. I also decided against breaking in my Nike Luna racers, opting to wear the trainers instead, so I wouldn't jinx my new pair of shoes by running slow in them the first time out of the box. I may be a little mental in that regard, but Dave understood. It was possible, however, that lighter shoes (and maybe 1 beer instead of two) would have allowed to push by second place, who finished only 10 seconds in front of me). As it was, I decided on the strategy of going out comfortably hard, which I knew based on my lack of running-specific fitness, would not be so "comfortable" on the big hill. I was holding 3rd overall (5k/10k started together, but team LD all ran the 5k) all the way up the hill 'til the flatter section at about the halfway point where Fred (my old training partner and 2nd overall in the 10k) went by, followed by michael Weller. They'd battle it out in vain as Michael was running the 5k, and Fred the 10. I tried to keep up, and stayed close, but couldn't quite match their pace on the faster downhill portion to start off mile 3. Michael pulled ahead of Fred with his finishing kick and came in a distant second (18:19)to winner Jeff Huxhold 16:50 (another mamber of Fred & I's Oddysey team), while Fred pressed on for lap #2. I came in 10 seconds later in 18:29, about where I figured on a course that RD Joerg admits is about a hundred meters long (3.16) which makes the 10k about 240 long (6.35). Here's TLD's places, times and paces (adjusted slightly for the extra .06)...

your's truly 3rd 18:29 (5:53)

Turi 21st 23:39 (7:29)

Amber 37th 27:09 (8:36)

Dave 50th 29:37 (9:22)

none of us did much (if any) cool-down. I got to see the rest of the team finish, along with a few other old friends. The highlight of the morning (after Amber purchased her closet full of closeout running gear) was finding two pair of (almost) identical ladies running shorts (lavender & black) for Turi & I's cross-dressing May relay!!! I even modeled 'um for Abby when I got home.

She seemed pretty entertained that I'd decided to run and didn't tell her 'til after. Anyway...both Barleywines that Dave was kind enough to provide were quite good. I believe I rated them a 4.4 (Avery) and a 4.3 (Alaskan) out of 5 on That pushed me to almost 900 ratings...that's alot of beer, eh?

Thanks TLD for the good times before and after the run. We'll have to do it again sometime. How'bout meeting for a, say, 52 story stairclimb in March???