Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Loon Mt. Race
This race went ok, but I don't feel like it was my best effort of the year. I wound up 25th overall in 51:09, getting beat by a handful of elite women. Early in the season I was really looking forward to this race, but by the time this week rolled around I was having trouble getting into the mind set for it. Not really sure what it was, I think I've just hit the doldrums of the summer season, as my mind set/motivation for running in general has been a little off the past week or two.
Despite not feeling very excited about the race all week, by the time I hit the line I felt ready to go and the legs felt nice and snappy. I was feeling optimistic and got lured out way too fast by that easy opening mile. I put myself right behind Kevin Tilton and Ross Krauss and began to envision myself hanging with them and being able to help my team win the title. I was able to hang with them for the first mile and then slipped back pretty significantly over the next mile. I let a stream of runners pass me until I had Chris Ritchie from the seacoast area catch up to me. There's nothing against him, I just remember battling him at the Children's Museum 5k earlier this year, and was set against losing to him again.
Seeing Chris got me racing again and I got back into it. I began to tell myself I wasn't the only idiot to go out too fast, and started scanning the trail ahead for runners coming back to me. I still didn't turn the race around though, as I was quick to walk on the steeps, but I tried to tough it out. Around 3 miles I caught up to my old team mate Craig McMahon's little brother, and chatted with him a bit as we made our way up the access road. We ran together for a little bit and then I decided I'd better try to put some distance on him because he's a college guy and a McMahon and probably quite a bit faster than me on a normal course right now. I just kept on chugging, and tried to run fast on the flat and downhill parts just because it felt good to actually be moving for a bit!
When I turned the corner and faced the BOSS for the first time it was the most crushing thing! I just couldn't believe how long and steep it was. I had envisioned something that steep, but maybe half or quarter of the length. I tried to run as long as I could and then settled into a walk for most of it. I turned around and walked backwards for a bit, and took in the view. I walked most of the climb, but every now and then I'd try to put in about 10 or 15 seconds of running to make sure I didn't get caught while climbing. Almost at the top I just started throwing up. (what else is new?) I got passed by Craig's brother and another guy at this point, and didn't think I'd catch them again, but the last 20 or 30 meters I was able to put in a strong run to over take them just before the line.
Abbey and I didn't have a whole lot of time to hang out, because Abbey had to work in the afternoon. We took a ride down on the gondola and then we got out of there. Abbey actually wound up not having to go in though, which was awesome. We went and took a jump at Indian's Leap (showing up some punks in front of their girlfriends) and then headed home for a nice afternoon on Lake Winnipesaukee with Abbey's parents.
All in all it was a great day and a really fun race. Not running quite as well as I wanted keeps me hungry for next years race. During the climb up the boss, I was telling myself "never again" but it didn't take long before I started thinking about the places I could have run faster, and looking forward to taking another crack at this beast of a course.
Posted by Sam Wood