Treehaven Tromp

over the weekend i ventured to the northwoods of wisconsin for a ten kilometer snowshoe race at the Treehaven preserve. it’s not uncommon to see folks racing with kilts on and admittedly i felt a bit of envy being kilt-less.

the race started with a flurry of folks kicking up plumes of snow. admittedly, i’m much more of a tortoise on snowshoes so i kept to the side of the course and settled into my own pace.

the (very well marked) course wound it’s way through open wooded trails and narrow single track sections. while the race organizers did their best to groom the open wooded sections, the snow was a bit…fluffy which made it tough to maintain momentum through those sections. there was less snow through the single track sections and it was well compacted which made it much easier to run through.

for what it’s worth, snowshoes really just redistribute your weight to a greater area so you don’t sink as far into it. also, the less weight you carry the less you sink and the more compacted the snow is the faster you can motor along.

snowshoe-meme

roughly two miles into the race i ran past another participant who was fiddling with his snowshoe bindings off to the side of the trail. after the race i heard that one of his bindings had broken and he had to complete the course without snowshoes…which unfortunately DQ’d him.

besides fighting through the fluffier snow sections, the most adverse thing i had to deal with was that my nose was running like a sieve. thankfully i didn’t have anyone too close to me so i simply snot rocketed with the wind and kept motoring along.

rolling into the last mile through the narrow single track, folks doing the accompanying five kilometer race were kind enough to step the side of the trail as i approached. while i was working hard, i still made the effort to say “thanks” or “much appreciated” as i passed them.

cresting the final hill there was a five kilometer participant ahead of me who was really working hard to get to the finish. rather than prancing past i simply downshifted then enjoyed the final stretch by waving and smiling at the folks who were hearty enough to stand out there as spectators.

my gps watch measured the course at exactly six miles which i covered in 1:05:14. since i stayed the night before, i headed back to my room for a very welcome hot shower then made my way to the post race chili lunch; which included beer from a local brewer. the results weren’t posted so i patiently waited through the silent auction and door prize giveaways to be rewarded by hearing my name called for third place in my age group.

treehaven

(3rd M40-49 & 14th Overall)

Splits
1M - 9:55
2M - 11:06 (21:01)
3M - 10:58 (31:59)
4M - 10:48 (42:47)
5M - 11:29 (54:16)
6M - 10:58 (1:05:14)

i’ve been competing for…years and i do believe this is the first time i’ve gotten an award made of wood. in all, i had an enjoyable time in the northwoods…even without a kilt.

also, the race was the final qualifying race in the region for the 2015 Dion Snowshoes National Snowshoe Championships. since i renewed my USSSA membership earlier in the week and finished in the top five for my age group, i’m now eligible to compete in Eau Claire, WI at the end of the month. so i’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

1/26 – 7 miles
1/27 – 7 miles
1/28 – 7 miles
1/29 – 7 miles
1/30 – 7 miles
1/31 – 8 miles

Jan Totals – 220 Miles (31/31 Days, 33 Hours & 42 Minutes)

2/1 – 6 miles
2/2 – 7 miles
2/3 – 7 miles
2/4 – 7 miles AM, 7 miles PM
2/5 – off
2/6 – 7 miles
2/7 – 1 mile warm up, 6 mile snowshoe in 1:05:14
2/8 – 7.25 miles

MTD – 55.25 Miles (7/8 Days, 9 Hours & 12 Minutes)
YTD – 275.25 (38/39 Days, 42 Hours & 55 Minutes)

February 8, 2015 by Jerry Cameron
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Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Relay

so over the weekend i was lucky enough to be able to do some left turn racing with my teammates from hillrunner.com at the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon Relay. we settled on a strategy of evenly dividing up the race’s 95 laps among the four of us by taking two laps at a time then switching to the next runner. i think all four of us went out a bit too fast for our first leg and settled into a more manageable pace as the race went along.

our team was in the coed/mixed division and it wasn’t long before our competitive mindsets had us checking the scoreboard for who was ahead of us, which turned out to be a team of college students from Marquette University. we did what we could to keep tabs on them but in the end they finished a little more than three minutes ahead of us.

regardless, our finishing time of 2:42:53 was good enough for 12th overall and 2nd in the coed/mixed division. doing a bit of math, we averaged 6:13 per mile…which was much faster than i think any of us expected.

looking back to 2014, i was able to log a few miles more than my previous best yearly total. in a practical sense, those extra few miles really don’t amount to much. however, i do buy into the concept that i am competing against myself, so being able to better my previous best is good enough for me.

12/11 – 7 miles
12/12 – 7 miles
12/13 – 6.5 miles
12/14 – 10 miles
12/15 – 7 miles
12/16 – 5 miles
12/17 – 7 miles
12/18 – 7 miles
12/19 – 7 miles
12/20 – 10 miles
12/21 – 9 miles
12/22 – 6 miles
12/23 – 5 miles
12/24 – 7 miles
12/25 – 9.25 miles
12/26 – 7 miles
12/27 – off
12/28 – 10 miles
12/29 – 7 miles
12/30 – 7 miles
12/31 – 7.25 miles

MTD – 216 miles (29/31 Days, 32 Hours and 32 Minutes)
2014 Total – 2,610 miles (345/365 Days, 383 Hours & 53 Minutes)

1/1 – 7 miles
1/2 – 7 miles
1/3 – 7 miles
1/4 – 6 miles snowshoeing
1/5 – 7 miles
1/6 – 6.25 miles
1/7 – 7 miles
1/8 – 7 miles
1/9 – 7 miles
1/10 – 6.5 miles
1/11 – 6 miles snowshoeing
1/12 – 7 miles
1/13 – 7 miles
1/14 – 7 miles
1/15 – 7 miles
1/16 – 7 miles
1/17 – 12 miles
1/18 – 6 miles
1/19 – 7 miles
1/20 – 7 miles
1/21 – 7 miles
1/22 – 7 miles
1/23 – 7 miles
1/24 – 1.5 miles w/u, 12 x 886 meters with ~10 minutes rest in between
1/25 – 7 miles

MTD/YTD – 177 miles (25/25 Days, 27 Hours & 11 Minutes)
Odometer – 40,325 miles

January 25, 2015 by Jerry Cameron
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forty thousand

…miles that is. this morning my personal running odometer rolled to a new set of digits. how about that.

other than that, i haven’t had much to write about. all i’m really focused on at the moment is keeping consistent and not pushing the pace.

rolling 40K this year was pretty much the last goal i had set for the year. there was (of course) the intent for doing a “beer mile” but that’ll just have to get added to next year’s list.

while it wasn’t a goal for me at the beginning of the year, i am in sight of my best mileage for a year. having a goal helps get me out of bed in the wee hours of the morning so i guess i’ll take aim at passing 2,600 miles by 12/31.

10/25 – 5 miles
10/26 – 10 miles
10/27 – off
10/28 – 7 miles
10/29 – 6 miles
10/30 – 6 miles
10/31 – 6 miles

October Totals: 176 miles
(26/31 Days, 26 Hours & 4 Minutes)

11/1 – 7 miles
11/2 – 9 miles
11/3 – 6 miles
11/4 – 7 miles
11/5 – 6 miles
11/6 – 5 miles
11/7 – 6 miles
11/8 – 8 miles
11/9 – 7 miles
11/10 – 7 miles
11/11 – 6 miles
11/12 – 7 miles
11/13 – 7 miles
11/14 – 6 miles
11/15 – 10 miles
11/16 – 7 miles
11/17 – 7.25 miles
11/18 – 7 miles
11/19 – 7 miles
11/20 – 7 miles
11/21 – 7 miles
11/22 – 9 miles
11/23 – 7 miles
11/24 – 7 miles
11/25 – 5 miles
11/26 – 7 miles
11/27 – 7 miles
11/28 – 7 miles
11/29 – 7 miles
11/30 – 8 miles

November Totals: 210.25 miles
(30/30 Days, 32 Hours)

12/1 – 7 miles
12/2 – 7 miles
12/3 – 7 miles
12/4 – 7 miles
12/5 – 7 miles
12/6 – 9 miles
12/7 – 10 miles
12/8 – off
12/9 – 7 miles
12/10 – 7 miles

MTD – 68 miles
(9/10 Days, 10 Hours & 16 Minutes)
YTD – 2,462 miles
(325/344 Days, 361 Hours & 37 Minutes)
Odometer – 40,000 miles

December 10, 2014 by Jerry Cameron
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maintenance mode

R-E-L-A-X…five letters that make a lot of sense. it’s not to say i’m spending all my time sitting on the couch flipping channels on the tv but i have eased back on how much and how fast i’ve been running as of late.

for now i’m content to simply shuffle along in the wee hours of the morning. i’ve still got my eye on the prize in that i’d like to roll past forty thousand on my odometer before the end of the year. doing a bit of math, mustering weekly mileage in the mid-thirties will get me there.

9/24 – 7 miles
9/25 – 7 miles
9/26 – 7 miles
9/27 – 7 miles
9/28 – 14 miles
9/29 – off
9/30 – 5.5 miles

September Totals: 230 miles
(29/30 days, 33 hours & 48 minutes)

10/1 – 6 miles
10/2 – off
10/3 – off
10/4 – 7 miles
10/5 – 6 miles
10/6 – 6 miles
10/7 – 5 miles
10/8 – 3 miles
10/9 – 3 miles
10/10 – 3 miles
10/11 – 26.2 miles in 3:13:21 (BQ!!)
10/12 – off
10/13 – off
10/14 – 6 miles
10/15 – 6.25 miles
10/16 – 8.5 miles
10/17 – 7 miles
10/18 – 9 miles
10/19 – 6 miles
10/20 – 6 miles
10/21 – 6 miles
10/22 – 6 miles
10/23 – 5 miles
10/24 – 5 miles

MTD – 136 miles (20/24 days, 19 hours & 57 minutes)
YTD – 2,143 miles (280/290 days, 313 hours & 14 minutes)
Odometer – 39,682 miles

October 25, 2014 by Jerry Cameron
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Praire State Marathon

in the wee hours of a saturday morning, i headed south of the border (wisconsin/illinois) for the prairie state marathon. unlike the other marathon held in the windy city that weekend, prairie state is a smaller event which includes a half marathon as well.

the start of the race was relatively casual with the half marathoners starting at the same time as the marathoners. the course headed north mostly along crushed gravel trails for a nine mile out and back segment. i cruised along at a seven minute per mile pace and passed the half marathon mark in 1:32:12.

in a rather cruel manner, the course rolls back through the start/finish area after 18 miles which is just when a bit of fatigue begins to set in. the remainder of the course is a four mile out and back segment which was less crowded as the half marathoners had already crossed their finish line.

the real beauty of the out and back segments is you get a chance to see where your competition is at. in my twenty second mile i counted the runners as they passed me on the way to the finish line. one, two, first female then not too far ahead of me – – and faltering – – was number three.

this race removes the top three finishers for men & women from age group awards so it’s a bit “more” to be top three versus getting an age group award. a few years back at the race for the bacon they scored the race in the same manner and i finished fourth overall. while i got first in my age group that day, i would have preferred to have been on the podium.

i downed my last energy gel, chased it with some water from the aid station then zeroed in on closing the gap on the runner ahead of me. it was really two runners as the guy had a friend running along with him. i drew even with them with less than three miles to go and muttered “looking good” to the guy.

true story. in that moment, my music shuffled to a tune i know really well which repeats “triumph awaits” over and over in the lyrics. just above the din of the song’s guitar/drum intro i could hear the guy’s friend say “lets keep up with this guy.”

no.

not going to happen.

i immediately threw down a surge to put some distance between us. running a bit recklessly, i didn’t turn around to see where they were because i didn’t want to give them any hope that they could catch me.

passing the twenty five mile marker in 3:03 i was able to do some math and figured i still had a solid chance at bettering the time standard (3:15:00) for the Boston marathon. as i neared the finish area, there were a few cheers from spectators and other runners as i passed the twenty six mile marker. a quick glace at my watch confirmed i was still on track so i made one last push to the finish line.

finishing was a relief as i was able to stop the clock in 3:13:21, which met the time standard for Boston. just after finishing, another runner crossed the line and then about a minute later the guy i had passed finished as well. a quick check of the posted results confirmed i had held onto third male finisher by a slim margin of six seconds, based on “chip” time.

3:13:15.7 (chip time)
3:13:21.1 (gun time)
4th/270 Overall
3rd/150 Male Finishers

so for only the fifth time, i was able to meet the time standard for the Boston Marathon. registration is closed for the 2015 event but my time would be good for the 2016 edition. maybe between now and then i’ll take another shot at bettering the time so i can move up in the starting corrals. regardless, marathon number twenty two…done!

October 15, 2014 by Jerry Cameron
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