1) Thursday was tempo day on Snowshoes. Coming off Saturdays' race I was a little unsure how I'd perform and how well recovered I was. The first 25 minute interval was just a hair slower than my average race pace, and the 15 minute interval was 10 seconds faster. This was huge, I find I am getting more and more comfortable on the shoes now, that the switch from trail shoes to snow shoes doesn't really matter. They are different, but I am able to switch gears without even giving it a second thought.
2) Saturday was Kimber's first 32km run and I had Derrick adjust my schedule so I could run it with her. It was -24 (before windchill) when we headed out, so we set up an aid station at home and mapped an 8.5km route that we would run 3 times with a final 6.5km at the end. Worked perfectly. It was nice have unfrozen gels and water, and we made sure not to linger, just a quick in a out. Kudos to Kimber, she nailed it with solid even pacing and a smile at the end. Just the way you want to run your first 20 miler. Well done. I added a little to the 32km and ended up with just shy of 34km on Saturday
3) Sunday (Kimber's Birthday BTW) was then a two hour Snowshoe run. For this I was finally going to face one on my biggest training goals for the winter and run the Wolf Trail loop in the Gatineau Park. Wolf is one of the nicest loop trails in the park. It is 8.3km long and approx 350 meters of elevation gain. Running this would be a good test/warm-up/training for Vermont as it is approx the same elevation, just shorter distance. Plan was for two loops in two hours (I had nothing to gauge that on). Having run the loop in the summer I know the right side is steeper and a lot more technical so I opted to do the first climb starting on the left. By the time I had climbed to the lookout (#2) I was warmed up and feeling strong. The descent on the steep section was fun but quite manageable. I got back to the parking lot in 1:01, right on schedule..cool, switched water bottles and headed back out. For the 2nd loop I decided to climb the steeper right hand side leaving a nice gentle downhill run to the finish. The 2nd climb was a lot more walking and tougher, but once to the top I was raring to go and finished the 2nd loop about 30 seconds faster. Nice. Felt good when I got back to the parking lot, and almost headed out again, but knew I'd be in big poop if I did. This was a huge confidence builder for Vermont. With 5 weeks to go I know I'll be ready.
This weekend will see me back at Wolf running 4 loops (4 hours) on Sunday, with a single loop with Kimber on Saturday. I am really looking forward to adding this notch to my Vermont Training.
Pics from Wolf
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