Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dion Frontenac Snowshoe Race

It was a lovely weekend in Kingston and Frontenac Provincial Park north of the city.

I've been struggling to regain my fitness after Road2Hope...who knew a few weeks off would mean a huge drop off in pace and a big spike in HR.  I'm still struggling to understand this.  Just running a lot slower...sigh.  Got to get the weight back down too.  I like food way too much.

We left for Kingston on Saturday and returned Sunday, so there was no need for a housesitter for the cats and Eco.  The dogs came with us.  The race was Sunday morning.

That said, this isn't an 'A' race, so there was no interruption in training.  We got up early Saturday morning and ran 22k which at the pace we ran it at was 85% of MHR for me (!!!!!!) so it was actually a 22k tempo run.

Which is weird, because our actual tempo runs are faster with lower HRs (yes, I need to run them faster, but I'm huffing and puffing on those...not on Saturday, I could talk).  I traditionally have a higher HR in the morning, possibly because I'm dehydrated, but STILL.

Anyways, it was a good 22k run, and worked my legs.

We then drove to Frontenac Provincial Park, stopping once (legs were stiffening, just what I need for a race the next morning).  We got there and bumped into Derrick and Sara, who were dropping off supplies and heading out to mark the course.  We managed to get Derrick his box o' beer (I owed him one...fun to gather, though getting the Junction Stationmaster Stout in bottles was difficult as the brewery was always out and it's not available in the LCBO, but eventually, I prevailed).

We then did a short snowshoe hike on trails I've never done in Frontenac because they're so short - Doe Lake and Arab Lake Gorge.  Both were nice trails, though Arab Lake Gorge was a little boardwalk-y at the start for my taste.  We met a couple using snowshoes for the first time on Doe Lake and told them about the race...you never know, maybe next year they'll come out and run it!

Then we headed off to the motel, checked in, got the dogs set up in their comfy crates (you're not supposed to leave dogs unattended) and then headed to downtown Kingston to pick up Kelly and go meet our friend Rob who is doing his masters at Queens.  We went to a nice pub with great food specializing in craft beer, recommended by Keith (and seconded by a guy at Junction Brewery who used to work there).  Nice evening.

Sunday morning we woke up, took the dogs out, then went out to pack the car and discovered that some fucktard who must've parked drunk decided to start a third row behind our car and blocked us in.  GREAT.  The race is in an hour and a half and it's at least a 30 minute drive to the park.

We go in.  License plate not registered.  Must be a friend of a guest.  We ask them to get it towed - meanwhile, I'm freaking out - how long will THAT take?  OMG I'm going to miss the race.  Then I said 'What about the car properly parked in front of us?' so the office called that guest, who came down and moved their car (THANK YOU!!!!!!).

I've never been tempted to key someone's car before.  But I was.  I didn't, but I was.

We got to the park about 9:20...ran in to check in, pee, and then I decided that maybe just maybe I had time to do a short warm up with Neb - just under 10 minutes.  The only thing that did was remind me that my legs were sore and not happy with me....greeeeeat.

Oh well.

The race started, and I ran with Kelly for just over the first 3.5k.  It was nice to run with her, but she was stronger that day and eventually left me behind.  I passed one girl who would run faster than me, but then walk, and eventually stopped seeing her.  At about 4k my legs stopped hurting and I settled into a nice, albeit slow, rhythm, and just enjoyed the day on the Corridor Trail.  That was my favourite part of the race, for sure.  It was just nice to be running by myself feeling good.  There was nobody around me so I decided I wasn't going to race to catch people who knows how far ahead and I wasn't going to race to stave off an attack from the rear.  I was just going to enjoy running by myself.
Too soon, the race was over.  I wish the whole race was like the last 2.5k!  Oh well.  Maybe a longer warm up next time, heh.  And no 22k tempo runs the day before.

I finished 38/61.  Definitely not my best showing, but for my level of fitness and fat I'll take it.  BOMOP, but not BOP (barely hahahaha) so hey.  Dion Brighton will hopefully be a better race for me.

Then Toby and I took the dogs for a snowshoe hike along West Arkon, running into Sara who was heading out to run to de-mark the course - and I will pause to note this - the course was amazingly marked.  Not only do Derrick (and Sara!) put on a great race, but they did an amazing job of marking everything.  Totally well done - thanks guys!

We enjoyed the hike but SOMEONE cut a pad so when we stopped at the 4k mark for some water we realized the snow looked like a bloodbath.  No limping, but rather than doing the 11k loop we did an out and back.  We also weren't sure how Luc's arthritis would take 11k (he limped for a day and a half after a hilly 14k hike at the start of the month, though we've taken steps to better manage his arthritis now).  Anyways, no arthritis flare ups with 8k, so that was a positive thing.  Goooo Luc!

We were a bit late getting back to Toronto but it was worth it to have a hike after the race.  A great weekend all around.