Mar 062012

by Kevin Robinson –

Bradbury Blizzard…What Was I Thinking?

I ran The Brad east side Wednesday night and really felt great. It seemed I was not as far out of shape as I was thinking. It probably helped that I was 10 lbs lighter than this time last year even though I have not run much this winter.

Saturday morning I ran a few miles with my son and again I felt really good and actually ran a bit faster than I thought I would for an easy run.

Sunday morning made the trip to Home Depot (seems like a weekend ritual lately) Got back in plenty of time to change up and head to Bradbury for the snow shoe race.

I had time once I picked up my number and dropped off the Banana bread to throw on the snowshoes and get a little acclimated before the race. I had no idea how my legs would feel because I hadn’t snowshoed all winter.

Lucky for me we were running the east side instead of the mountain side….this should help me considerably. I hit the trails and immediately found that Ian and Ryan had done a great job marking the trails.

Everything felt great as I settled in rather quickly to what seemed like a decent pace. The legs felt good, cardio was good, I was dressed just right. Everything was almost too good… Suddenly I started worrying about how I would feel during the race.

Perhaps I am using up all my energy during my warm up run and probably should have waited and save this for the actual race. I felt so good, I quickly pushed that thought right out of my mind and convinced myself that this would surely help my race rather than hinder it.

After about a mile, I looped back toward the start and finished my warm up at about 2.25 miles. I had to estimate because for some reason I didn’t bring the Garmen today (OK…I forgot it)

As we waited for the race to start, I felt really good and was certain I could at least hang in with the same runners I finished with last year. Just to be sure, I stayed back at the start and ended up falling in behind Jerry, who by the way is an amazing runner at 74 years old.

I wasn’t too worried about being behind Jerry because he always starts fairly fast and sets a consistent pace. I felt great and waited patiently to find a spot to pass.

I passed Jerry and picked up the pace a bit to chase down the next runner.
I caught her and wasted no time going by, then caught two more and passed them. This race was shaping up to be a good one as I felt strong and fairly settled in. There was no doubt in my mind at this moment, about two miles in, that the run yesterday and the warm up this morning had surely helped me in this race.

Once I got into what I figured was mile three (sucks not having the Garmen) something changed……like the flick of a light switch, I suddenly felt the weight of the snowshoes and the legs were feeling quite gassed.

It was this moment, merely halfway through this race that I asked myself that question….What was I thinking? Did I really think 5 miles on snowshoes would be a breeze? I realized rather quickly that I had a very strong 2 mile race in me, but 5 miles would be a different matter all together.

I labored through mile three and did actually pass two people….. it was Eric and Brenda and they stopped for her to tie her shoes.
So it was more like pass by default and they quickly passed me back.

Mile 4 was more of the same and I resorted to walking some of the inclines. There was no doubt now that the 2 mile warm up was a big mistake.
During this mile, two of the people I passed returned the favor and left me in the dust.

I began to get worried as I could see glimpses of one of the girls I passed and Jerry behind me and I worried they would pass me too. Though I was totally out of energy in mile five and did get passed by one runner, I was determined to keep Jerry behind me.

I hated the fact that I was no longer running my race as I had resorted to worrying about the runners behind me rather than concentrate on the race in front of me. I can tell you, it sure makes the miles go by much slower when you are concentrating on the people behind you.

Halfway through mile 5 the cardio just gave out and I was now hanging on by a thread and a small thread it was….the only bright spot was knowing I was going to finish and even if it killed me, I would find something in me to get a kick at the end.

Once I got a glimpse of the finish line, it was like a horse heading for the barn at feeding time and the kick came from nowhere I.m not sure where because I had no energy left. The finish was fantastic….it felt so good to know I made it as mile 4 had tried very hard to convince me I wouldn’t.

What a great race, snow shoe races are designed to be difficult and why would I expect otherwise. I had 2 miles of bliss, 2 miles of hell and 1 mile of determination. In the end I felt I earned and deserved the gratification. I am so glad I ran…..I just wish I could have stayed around longer after.

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