Wednesday, March 22, 2017

February 2017: Training Ramblings.....Racing Is Here!

February was the start of race season! A couple of races were on tap for the month...the Little Patuxent River 10km on the 5th and two weeks later the Monster Cross 50 mile MTB race.  As you would expect neither were "A" races but it is always good to get out and race and get some motivation through the winter months.

The Little Patuxent River 10km was brand new for 2017 and I had never run the trails there so had no idea what to expect.  The course surprised me and I am sure this race will continue to grow (if they can, as it sold out early this year!) as it was awesome. It was a cold day and the Parvilla Pom-Pom made its first race appearance of the season. I went out hard, probably too hard based on the 5:45min that beeped away as we went through the first mile, with the field quickly splitting until there was just two of us left at mile 2. Gradually over the next 4 miles I was able to pull away and take the first win of the year.  The last mile wasn't pretty and showed that I need to a) run longer and b) work on race pace.  Sarah also raced the 10km and posted a new PR for the distance, she is going to have a good year!

Just two weeks later and after a red-eye home from a work trip to San Francisco, I was lining up at Pocahontas State Park (just south of Richmond) for the Monster Cross 50 mile MTB race. It is very much an early season classic of the local MTB scene and in my infinite wisdom I had entered the Pro/Elite field which was stacked with a who's who of the best in the region. We had lucked out with 70 degree weather and dry, dusty trails, which meant one thing.....speed!  

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Wow, it was a fast day and so much fun! Perhaps the most fun race I have done. It was just go,go,go from the beginning, pretty much a road race on dirt.  If you lost the group you were with you would quickly lose minutes.  I managed to embed myself in the 2nd main group on the trail (the first group of 10 had split the field early and as expected were led by pro Jeremiah Bishop) and we motored through the first 25 mile lap in 1hr 22mins (yup, 19mph). The 2nd lap didn't get any easier and one by one riders were popping off the back until there were only 10 of us left and it was everyman for himself the final few miles. I managed to sneak a few places in the last couple of miles to roll across in 2hrs 47 mins and 14th place. To say I was pleased was an understatement! It showed that training was going well and more importantly the bike legs are there for the season to come. 

It took a little while to recover from that race so the total mileage and hours for the month were lower than I would have liked (plus the week in SF was poor for training) but the racing showed that I have the fitness to build on.  The road racing season begins in March as does the Xterra Atlantic Trail Run Series and then before we know the Xterra Triathlon season will be upon us. Lots of good stuff to come this season....

What I am drinking this month:
Rise Up Coffee: Costa Rica Organic Las Lajas: From the Chacon Family, they specialize in a kind of coffee drying called ‘Honey Process’. Essentially the outer skin is removed from the coffee cherry, but mucilage is left on the bean. The end result is an interesting mix of ripe fruit flavors and an intensely sweet cup.

February 2017 Total: 465miles/34hrs 54mins/2327 TSS
Swim: 7.33m/3hrs 42mins/ 250 TSS
Bike: 388m/22hrs 04mins/ 1364 TSS
Run: 69.0m/8hrs 37mins/ 700 TSS

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