Chelsea and I got to go visit Sunlight Mountain Resort near Glenwood Springs over the weekend. We were scouting for potential future races and got to compete in the Day of Infamy Snowshoe Race on Sunday.
Sunday started as a normal day, though a little more relaxed than most race day mornings. We ate a little too much of a normal breakfast, dressed for the race and Chamois Butt’red up (well, I did. Some people have more problems with chafing than others, dang it). The morning then continued with us not being able to find where we were supposed to register, and we just about missed registration and the race start. Because of that, we didn’t have time to do a slow warm-up, as Tony Lutack, our resident personal trainer and spinning coach at Lifetime Fitness, always encourages us to do. Instead, we got to warm up nice and slow-like as we trudged uphill behind all the slow people! Man, was that frustrating! I thought we’d never get to running. About a half-mile into the race, we finally ducked and weaved our way through the walker traffic, and the race was really on then. Of course, by that time, I had spent a lot of energy going up nearly 500 feet, and Chelsea, the monster athlete, started pulling away from me. It seemed that I would finish behind her yet again. I hate losing, especially when it’s something I should be winning. The two beers I had the night before probably didn’t help, nor did the short but steep run I did at about 8pm. As we continued uphill, Chelsea pulled farther and farther away, getting nearly a quarter mile ahead of me at the top of the uphill portion of the race.
Though I was getting bummed out, once we were nearing the half-way point, I was able to talk myself into trying harder. My heart was beating through my chest, and my head was about to explode with every beat, but I managed to convince myself that we were nearly half-way, and I didn’t need to keep any energy (or life source) in reserve. Anything I had left in the tank could be let loose and used up entirely. So, I started running again.
Within the first five minutes of running again, I was able to pass up four people. Never mind the fact that one was a teenage kid and another was in the “Over 45″ division (I won’t say how far over 45 he was). It doesn’t matter. The fact was that I had passed four in five minutes, and my nemesis was again in sight (In every race, racers pick out that one team or that one person that you aim to beat at all cost; that team or person that you know you can beat if you can just get your body/bodies to cooperate.). I told myself to push through the uphills and keep running. Through the burning legs and lungs and throbbing head, I kept running, passing my nemesis with about 1.5 miles to go. Then, I set my sights on my new nemesis: my wife. Hahahahaha…
Chelsea has long been the superior endurance athlete, but I hoped that I would be able to take advantage of her having a fairly bad cold this weekend. The uphill, though, proved to me that she’s not just better than me, she’s way better, even when sick. When we got to the downhill, though, I picked up my pace from what felt like about 20 minute miles to about 7 minute miles, and no one within 5 minutes in front of me was safe. When I saw Chelsea, I sped up even more, and I passed her with about 3/4 of a mile to go. I then passed up two more people, including Chelsea’s nemesis, whom she was unable to overtake.
This was our first snowshoe race ever, so we were really happy with the results we got. I finished 10th of 25 “Under 45 Men,” and Chelsea finished 8th of 45 “Under 45 Women.” Two top 10′s in our very first snowshoe race. Not bad. Oh, and I beat Chelsea. First time ever.