First Races of 2017

Feat on the Street Resolve 5K

My wife and I are incredibly fortunate to have our first baby coming our way around April 7th.  With that in mind, we know fitness and consistency is going to be a challenge.  We hoped that signing up for the Feat on the Street City Park Race Series would be a good motivator as it has monthly races in January, February, and March.

It’s been a while since I’ve raced a 5K so I was intrigued by the potential.  I’d run one for fun back in September at the Cherry Creek Fitness Festival and came in at 25:19.  I’d only started pushing myself a mile into that race and felt like I left a lot on the table.  However, with snow packed streets and a temperature of 14 degrees at the start, I was going to be happy if I broke 25 today.

At the start, I got out well and found myself towards the top 15 of the race.  I was nervous about how my body would respond to the speed of a 5K, but once I pushed through the initial burn in my legs, I was able to settle into a pace.  And settle in I did.  I tell my athletes to never expect to run even splits in a race due to the pressures of racing.  Often times, you are forced out to a fast first mile and then settle in for slower 2nd and 3rd miles.  I went almost perfectly even across the board with splits of 7:27, 7:29, 7:27.  I suppose thats the price you pay when you train for longer distances all the time.  Could probably keep running that pace for a while…

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I finished with a time of 23:17, good enough for 12th overall.  I’m pleased with the effort, but will look to improve on the first mile so that I can put myself in better position to be in the low 20s.  I’d also like to spend more time on my warmup as I was pretty lazy and discouraged by the low temperature to fully complete a proper warmup.

On my cooldown, I got to double back and support my wife, who is doing all the work in the family these days with baby Avery!  She broke 45 with a brisk walk/run combo.  Pretty strong for someone who is 7 months pregnant!

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Happiest racer of all time?!

Breckenridge Ullr Fest Fat Bike Race

Last time I rode a true fat bike was in the middle of a buddy’s bachelor party.  Lets just say it was painful and I’m not 20 years old anymore…  I was excited to get a 2nd shot at it…but that excitement faded pretty early on in the race.

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Team Bicycle Village

The race consists of 3 laps at the Gold Run Nordic Center.  The trails were pretty similar to last time, but they added a section of singletrack in this year.  That would prove to be my undoing.  Much of the snow in the race was soft and unconsolidated due to the recent heavy snows and cold temperatures.  This was especially true in the singletrack sections and I ended up running/postholing with my bike for a good chunk of the race.  I definitely wasn’t alone…but it was discouraging.

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Early packline on the first “climb”

I quickly fell behind pace and let myself use the excuse of racing earlier in the morning.  Once I did this, my race was all but over as I just let things go and didn’t fight for much.

All over the course, riders were falling into the soft powder on the edges of the trail and disappearing.  It was funny initially, even when it happened to me.  But it quickly grew old and shook what little confidence I had.

img_4403It was even more disheartening to feel the sun setting and being alone on the course (even though I wasn’t the lantern rouge!).  I considered hanging it up as I came through to finish the 2nd lap, but told myself I’d never DNF’ed a race and today wasn’t going to be the first.

On the last lap, they cut out the singletrack section which simplified things a bit, but I was still mentally cooked.  I finished well beyond my goal time and defeated to the point of never wanting to race a fat bike again.  Not sure if I will, but I certainly haven’t enjoyed the first two experiences.

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