I've run in the snow many times, but just for a couple of miles at a stretch. Today I did something totally new - a trail race that was almost entirely in the snow. After a 2 km start of icy road that is. Pretty cool.
What is the Methow Snow Trail Race like? It's a great core workout, that's for sure. You are constantly running with outstretched arms and recovering your balance!
The route was a snowshoe trail and only 1-2' wide. If you got anywhere near the edge you would posthole or simply fall sideways into the deep stuff. I did both. More than once. But it was also super fun to embrace the winter.
Did I mention I ran this with Lucca? Awesome.
It was pretty foggy most of time during the race but I was still practically blind every time we were out in the open. I could only see well when we were in the trees. I never would have thought to wear sun glasses but if I do this again I will for sure.
ASIDE - according to James Varner, this was this first race he has promoted AND participated in. It looked like he was having fun.
I tried to start mellow and find my rhythm/pace. In the snow that was not easy as I kept slipping and/or falling down...
As usual, a group of faster folks shot off the front and I had to watch them disappear up the road.
ANOTHER ASIDE - I have never used or owned any screw shoes but on this first 2 km of road they would have been very helpful. I didn't fall here but I had a couple of dynamic recoveries. They key? Look for sand or snow and stay off what looks like smooth pavement because it was always glazed with ice. Did I mention Lucca had screw shoes? About half the field wore some kind of nanospikes or similar, in hindsight I think screw shoes would have been best.
As we hit the snow a couple of people from the front group came back to me right away. I don't have mad snow skilz or anything but one of the guys I passed right away was having a really hard time keeping it upright. Later on I passed the eventual winner of my age category and figured that was that. Nope. On a long downhill he came roaring past me and I figured I would never see him again. Nope again. On the last climb I closed him down but when the trail flattened out he turned on the gas and in my attempt to follow I fell down. Twice. I guess 2nd place is okay. At least he said he was going as hard as he could when we chatted at the finish. :)
We ran through three or four gates on this course.
Most of them creaked so you could hear how far behind the next person was.
I learned today that full-length tights do have a purpose. Since I'm tall, all of my tights run short. That's not usually a problem as I don't like material on my legs right down by my shoes as it usually just gets wet, sags and pulls the rest of my tights down. After finishing I noticed some blood near my ankles. Turns out post-holing through crust is not kind to bare legs. My legs were fine where they were covered.
Lucca was only 10 minutes behind me! I thought I would have all this time to change my clothes, grab a snack, amble back to the finish and take her picture as she crossed the line. Wrong again. As I walked back up to the finish she was already talking to other finishers. Good for her. And obviously I need to update my expectations!
Not 15 minutes after meeting her at the finish we were skiing. Nice. On skis Lucca is in her element and I was floundering trying to keep up. Not that I ever can but sometimes I pretend to try. After just six miles I'd had enough and had to beg off, thank goodness Lucca was fine with this. When you are slow like me your sister takes you on trails with names like, Little Wolf and Beaver Pond.
Here are all the pictures and video.
|Nutrition||15 min before run - Hammer Gel|
run - small bottle w/2 scoops Hammer HEED and one Endurolytes
|Recovery||post run - half a large bottle w/3 scoops Recoverite, Hammer Gel|
|Time of Day||run - 8:00 AM|
ski - 10:30 AM
|Weather||run - 33-34 degrees, foggy, calm|
2nd place - Men 50-59
10th - Overall
|Distance||run - 15 km|
ski - 8 miles (I forgot to turn my GPS on at the start)
|Equipment||run - Brooks Cascadia 10, Ultimate Direction SJ Ultra Vest 2.0|
|Clothing||run - Injinji Run Original Weight Mini-Crew, Under Armour tights, Craft Active Classic Long Sleeve Baselayer, Patagonia long sleeve fleece top, SmartWool hat, Brooks Vapor Dry Glove II|