February 23, 2011

Granite State Snowshoe Races: Horse Hill and Beaver Brook

After what feels like an eternity, I’m easing back into running. It feels good. Yes, please, I'll take it... no matter how short or long it may be.

This season, I ran some snowshoe races as a member of the Dungeon Rock Racing team. While these are “races,” I am not in any condition to run faster than "to finish" with a smile and a quickened heart beat. Thus, for me, Feel Good Farm, Horse Hill, and Beaver Brook snowshoe races were three "quit riding the pine and get out there" training runs with much needed pushes, and of course the social outlet!

The snow conditions at Horse Hill were excellent—even the looser snow that just made me work harder.  It’s been two years since I ran the Horse SS. Steve Wolfe designed a great new course; alas, he must’ve missed my memo to please "avoid that tough climb up Horse Hill"....errr, then what would we call the race, miss smarty pants?  

I did well not to keel over in need of CPR on the hands-to-my-knees ascent. I must have blocked that hill from my memory when I ran here in 2009. But the nightmare of that incline recalled like a two-year-old big bologna sandwich.
This was my first run since Feel Good Farm a month earlier and I could feel my limit come and go with approximately one mile remaining. (Got to start back somewhere!) I dug deeper and stoked my running sticks with some mental positive thinking. The last ½ mile was open and flattish. I had a lot of kick along that stretch, which lead me to believe I could have worked harder out there. I was sorry to miss the Martha’s Exchange outing of laughs and libations with the Turtles!

Horse Hill SS Race Start
Photo credit: Gianina Lindsey 
More of her photos HERE

The 2011 course was amazing (minus the snow-naked stretch of Dion-damaging bare asphalt —boohiss). Wolfe was also behind the new course design, minus the two day thaw!  Its varied terrain was playfully challenging. It was also a bit longer than 5k at approx. 3.3 miles versus the “so-last-year” shorter 2.9 mile out-and-back course.  

I loved the rollers, mostly single track trail, small bridge and water crossings, hugging the edge of a pond, and zigzags through the woods. 

But, no beavers, alas, they must be busy... 


The Beaver Brook began bitterly with a mean wind ripping through my shirt and up my skirt.  woot'n-bbrrr. I spent less time socializing than I wished and more time in my car warming/waiting. BUT a major plus was that I got to share that time and chat with ultra-runner friend, Melanie! She was sweet to come and visit!

Time was too-short and I lined up behind some other Stone Cat friends at the back of the pack. I heat up like a teakettle—low-on-water—so I was more than toasty in five minutes. 
Yes, I AM a little tea pot...

I met up with some folks from DRR, Dan, Elaine, Patrick and Tula (woof). I hope next year I get to know these folks better, perhaps through more training at The Lynn Woods. Also I hope this new course will be used for a trail run there post snowshoe season.  
It’s always a joy to see the Turtles! Two Beaver Tails-Up to Scott and his teammates. Good times. 
Cheerful quote from Bill Howard upon my 
crossing the BB finish line:
“Alright, you did it! Another finish.”
(Above) Bill Howard and me, a beaver sock totin' TUGger.
Two (above) Photo Credits: Scott Mason

Indeed, another finish!
It’s a start.

1 comment:

RawBodyGoddess said...

YAY!!! Oh, I love this :) Good goin', girlfriend!!! Way to make a comeback.