Saturday, January 14, 2012

2012 Little River Trail Run

This was the 4th Little River Trail Run for Shannon and I.
See 2010 Race Report and 2011 Race Report  for Shannon's photos and stories of coldness and hotties in my pants.

Shannon's photos from today can be found here on picasa and here on facebook.

The Trail Heads love switchbacks.
The Little River 10 mile course was designed by carefully mapping
 the flight of a really pissed off bee caught in jar.

As is tradition, Little River is held on the absolute coldest day of the year. This morning was a balmy 28°F, so it looks like we are in for a mild winter.

We car pooled to the race with Chris and Jenny, shivered putting on our bibs and lined up at the start.

I had four good runs last week so I was optimistic this morning. My goal was to beat my snow enhanced slip-sliding time from last year. Race director Willow counted down, and then the pack was off down the road at a 5:30 pace. Only one person there had any business running that fast, and that was David Roche, who ended up breaking his own course record.

Every one loves elevation profiles. It is race report crack.

Up and Up
The rest of us were gassed after the first mile, and entered the trail at a more reasonable pace.
I ended up following a pack of runners including friends Dan, Sam and Tim.

In preparation for Uwharrie, I have been practicing my downhill running the last few weeks, with the belief that if I don't fight gravity, it won't punish my crackling knees.

So I was waiting for a downhill to pass the group, but the elevation profile above lies like a presidential candidate. The trail just kept going up and up. It was killing me trying to keep up with these guys on one climb after another. I swear I heard a buzzing sound coming from my chest sounding like a badly tuned weed whacker. This went on for about 6 miles.

My heart rate during the race. As you can see it reached 300 bpm, which is 167% of my max heart rate.
You can kind of tell where the tough hills were.

Finally, just seconds before I blacked out, there came a downhill and I rolled down it, surprisingly gaining ground on the group. In a road race, I know I wouldn't have been anywhere near them, but I was really happy that I was able to hang with them on the trail on a good day. I sputtered out the last few miles, unable to keep up with the eventual Masters winner.

But happily, I was able to hang on and finish a minute faster than last year, and scored an awesome jacket for first in my age group.

Kudos to the Trail Heads for thinking "outside the race shirt"
and giving out custom printed arm warmers to all entrants.

It turns out that pushing as hard as you can and maxing out your heart rate for well over an hour really starves your brain of oxygen. As I sat down to write this race report, I could not focus at all. My head was literally vibrating, and I could not think straight.

Fortunately the TrailHeads had given out some very cool custom arm warmers that boast some impressive powers:
"Reduces muscle vibration, focuses muscle power, and controls body movements."
Just what I needed!
Using compression technology for MIND CONTROL

I finally was able to pass Dan by clubbing
him in the knee with large branch
Once again, big, huge thanks to the TrailHeads and all the volunteers for a great race!

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