I met up with Jeremy today at the Brad for a run on the Squall course. The plan was to do one lap in snowshoes and the other without. With the limited snow we've had so far this winter and recent rain Ryan and I were uncertain about the status of this weekend's snowshoe race, so a little course recon was called for. I also wanted to get in another couple laps of the course to help prepare myself mentally for the race. Over the past year I've had a handful of PR's and I attribute that largely to being better prepared mentally.
We decided to run the first lap in snowshoes, I guess to get the hard stuff out of the way first. The trails were packed from a lot of foot traffic in the park so snowshoes weren't really needed. Even on Kirsta's which received very little traffic (Danielle & Mindy were out earlier in the week and were likely the only ones to set foot on the trail since the previous snowfall) the snow wasn't very deep and there was a layer of crusty ice on top of the snow. We kept the pace pretty easy and conversational and talked a bit about our race plans. Since both of us are training for ultras in the spring we both agreed that while we planned to do all the races of the Bradbury Mountain Snowshoe Series they were really just part of the training and not major goals in and of themselves.
We finished the first lap in a little under 44 minutes, a little fast for an "easy" snowshoe run but like I said, the trails were so well packed that snowshoes weren't even needed, so it was just like running with a little extra weight on our feet. We took a few minutes to switch into regular shoes and then headed back out for another lap. This time around we maintained about the same effort and finished the course in about 42 minutes. It's a good thing snow is expected tonight, the course really needs it.
Now that I've run the Squall course 4 times in the past two weeks I feel pretty good about how to race it, I just hope I've got some energy left after my planned long run on Saturday.
distance: 7.32 miles
weather: sunny, low 20's
conditions: hard packed snow, ice
gear: Inov-8 F-lite 300 w/ Atlas Run snowshoes lap one, Inov-8 Roclite 295 with screws for lap two.