Sunday, March 27, 2011

Keys to open doors

Love.  Compassion.  Forgiveness.  Mindfulness.  Calm mind.  Awareness.  Patience.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Last weekend was the USSSA National Snowshoe Championships in Cable, WI.  Dave S., Jen, Meg, Chris, Erik and I went over for the weekend and had a great time.  Meg's parents (though her father was out of town) were gracious enough to host us in their beautiful home and provided us with wonderful hospitality.

On Saturday morning, we woke up to see a landscape freshly painted white as 2 to 3 inches of new snow fell during the night.  It created a beautiful scene and made for a perfect backdrop for the Championship races that took place later that day.

The Senior Men's race was a fun but challenging 10k over the hills and through the woods of Forest Ridge Golf Course.  Duluth Running Co. showed well as Chris finished 16th overall, Erik finished 18th, Schuney was 32nd and I trudged in at 38th.  Jen rocked the citizen's 5k race later in the day, finishing 7th for the women, but my vote for most impressive DRC performer of the day was Meg who finished 8th overall in the Senior Women's 10k!

I was pleased with my race, I started slowly and passed a lot of people throughout.  I probably passed about 15 people in the last 5k as my plan was to run the first half relaxed.  It's always nice when you're able to race your plan well, and still know that you gave everything you had.  I feel like I did that but of course now is the time that I start to look back and wonder if I should have gone out a bit harder.  Overall though I'm proud of my effort and since I'm not one to worry about the past, I simply won't worry about the past.

On Saturday night we were treated to a nice banquet (where Erik tried to steal some cake) and an overly long awards ceremony.  It was great to see Meg and Erik up on the podium and really nice for me to see an old running friend of mine from Iowa also on the podium as he won his age group.

After a relatively calm Saturday night by the fire we woke up eager to race again!  Okay, we barely crawled out of bed and dragged ourselves back into town to take on the team relay race, a 4 x 2.5k.  Erik led our team off with a great leg, finishing in second before handing off to me.  I took off like a turtle and slowed down from there!  My legs do not like to go fast under optimal conditions and a day after a hard 10k with snowshoes on are certainly less than optimal conditions.  I lost two spots to a couple of guys that I've decided were probably on EPO.  That put us in 4th place overall.  I tagged off to Dave as he bailed me out and gained some ground on the guys ahead of us.  I don't remember if he passed anyone back or not but I'm sure he ran a faster split than at least one of those guys.  Chris then anchored our team with a terrific effort.  Catching and passing one guy and biting the heals of the 2nd place guy before  running out of room.  Overall, the DRC team finished in 3rd place and I have to say, it was a blast!

All in all, it was a great weekend of racing and hanging out with friends.  We can't wait to go out to Frisco, Colorado next year for the 2012 Championships!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

New Spaces New Places

This weekend was a good one for my running as I was able to discover some new terrain with the help of some friends of mine.

Saturday, Schuney, Henry and I ran at Northland Country Club, taking on the hils of that golf course.  Dave and I ran in snowshoes while Henry stayed in his road trainers.  The course was amazing to run on, full of long, grinding hills and some absolutely amazing views of Lake Superior.  For the most part, the snow was packed down pretty hard, as there's a groomed ski trail throughout most of the course.  This made the snowshoeing easy but we did hit a couple of sections where we were post holing a bit.  It's definitely a place I'll be returning to next winter for some hill training.

Sunday I ran with Gregg for just under 9 miles at a nice, easy pace.  We ran mostly along the Hartley trails, which may not be new terrain for many Duluth runners, but I pretty much never go up there.  I was impressed with the evenness of the snow packed trails, they were nearly perfect to run on.  I was in my road trainers and never once slipped.  It was really nice to have Gregg lead the way and show me some of his regular route, I'll be hitting those trails more often.

All in all, I'm feeling pretty healthy right now, my legs are pretty fresh, I've gotten a bit of speed work in but I'm still keeping my weekly mileage rather low.  I have the USSSA Snowshoe National Championships next weekend in Wisconsin and I'm feeling ready for that.  I've no idea what to expect, how I may do, but I'm certain that I'm at least physically and mentally ready to race.  The unknowns are how fast my competitors are and what the snow conditions will be.  I can only go and do my best and see where that takes me.