Today I ran the Frosty's Dash for a Cure 5K Snowshoe Race. It was sunny and warm. Temperatures were well above freezing when I left my house in Porter, Maine. I drove down to Rochester, NH to carpool the rest of the way to the race with Brian, Diane, and Sin. It was nice to have company on the ride, instead of driving to the race alone with only my negative thoughts about running back to back snowshoe races to keep me company.
I gave it pretty much everything I had in yesterday's Sidehiller race and didn't think I had much left in my legs for today's race. I really didn't have any soreness in my legs from yesterday, just a tired heaviness. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have tried doubles in road races and it hasn't gone well for me. Both races this weekend are part of the Granite State Race series. I have to miss next week's series race for work which will definitely bump me down on the standings list. So I figured I should try to hang on to my series standing for at least this week by doing both races.
I ran a nice two mile warm up on the roads with Diane and Sin. It was very windy and we noted that there didn't look like there would be much shelter out on the race course. We also noted that we needed to take some layers off, we were all over-dressed for the warm temperatures. It felt like mid to high forties, but I didn't see a thermometer to tell for sure.
Lining up for the start I wondered about the snow conditions. I don't think I had ever run in snowshoes when it was this warm out. It was definitely wet and soft, but how would it be for running? Once we started running I found that the running surface was not bad. Yes, the snow was wet but the trail was sturdy and had a solid feel to it. It felt like fast times could be run today, just not by me. I hate being negative but sometimes it just happens.
Many of the runners in today's race had run in yesterday's race. We were all in the same boat so I told myself to stop whining and get moving. Today I never ran fast enough to feel like my breathing was labored. I couldn't because my legs were so tired. But I ran steady and gave it all I could. In all the other snowshoe races I have run, my cardio fitness has been the limiting factor. Today it was definitely leg strength that told me how fast I could go. We ran through the country club grounds over gently rolling hills. The wind was gusting at times, but not a real hinderence.
Once we got going and I got into my happy running mode, I forgot about my doubts and just ran as hard as I could. I tried to hold my position and measure my performance by the runners around me. I had spoken to Luke from Kennebunkport after the race yesterday and today I found myself behind him for a while and then in front of him and then behind him again. I felt like he was pushing and pulling me along and that helped. Sometimes when I am not moving as well as I'd like in a race, it helps to hitch a ride with someone.
I made it to the finish line and more than met my race goal. If you recall the goal I posted for this race was to survive. I did better than I expected and it was a good experience. I learned that running a double isn't easy, but I can do it. Whenever I doubt myself, it always turns out that I am stronger than I think I am.