Friday, April 1, 2011

Snowshoe Nationals + Road Trip + New Bedford = Feeling Like Dog $hit

Well, March was an interesting month. After a solid winter of snowshoe racing I headed out to Wisconsin for the National Snowshoe Championships. I was shooting for a top 5. Jim Johnson and Tim Van Orden were my travelling companions for this race. Without getting into too many details, Jim got 8th, I got 9th and Tim got 13th. I had a pretty good race, but it wasn't what I was hoping for. The race went out pretty hard, and my heart rate was through the roof for the first two miles. Not my style of racing. I was able to recover after that, but could never real Jim in. No replay of Sidehiller or Northfield here. The course had a lot of rolling hills, but no big climbs and no singletrack. Not my type of course, but fair and fun nonetheless. After the race I enjoyed some good brews from the Angry Minnow Brewery at the bar of the Lakewoods Resort where the race was held. They had a pretty good oatmeal stout and a honey wheat.

The bar at Lakewoods

After a leisurely run Sunday morning, TiVo, Double J and I started the 3 hour drive back to Minneapolis to catch our flights. Due to a few too many stops, Jim and I missed our boarding by 7 MINUTES. Delta wasn't able to get us on another flight, so we opted to do what any other sane people would do: we rented a car to Boston.

Up to this point, my longest road trip ever had been the 7 hour slog from NoCo to Syracuse for last year's Snowshoe Nationals. That would be about the length of our first stint on this trip. Jim took the first leg after we loaded up on Taco Bell and made a provisions shop at a Wal-Mart somewhere in Wisconsin. We loaded up on gas, coffee and beef jerky and changed drivers just before we hit Chicago just after 11PM. I usually don't like driving at night, but I had the next 6 hours of Midwest interstate to get me accustomed to it. The roads were pretty clear, the weather was good, and Jim stayed awake and kept spinning the tunes like he was at The Red Door circa 2005. I made it to just before Cleveland before handy over the reins of our trusty Focus to JJ.

The scenic Midwest at 2AM

The only thing I didn't eat

We had planned on doing 6 hours/full gas tank shifts the whole way, but after we hit some ice east of Cleveland and Jim started telling incoherent jokes, we decided to switch it up when we got tired, which only took about an hour and a half. We grabbed some breakfast at a Mickey D's and headed for New York.

I managed one more shift across NY just west of Syracuse, where we stopped for gas and a second breakfast of Arby's. I am such a bad eater on the road. This is when Jim realized we were bhind our rental car return time by about 7 minutes according to our GPS. Not again! Here is where Jim took off like a man possessed. We knew driving 85 all the way to Boston would not be a good idea, but 5 or 10 over the speed limit should get us there on time. Jim drove the last 270 miles with no stops while I watched out for cops and played navigator.

Buffalo? WTF?

We arrived at Logan at 3:36 PM, 4 minutes before our return time! All that was left was a 30 minutes train ride to Norwood to pick up my car, then 3+ hours back to drop Jim off in Salem and make it home. We stopped for an awesome dinner at Brothers Deli in Wakefield, MA then I dropped Jim in Salem. I felt ok before heading out, but definitely hit the wall north of Concord. I took a half hour nap at the Meredith McDonald's before finishing the trip to North Conway. I was on the move for about 35 hours. Not cool.

DoubleJ at "touchdown" at Logan

I couldn't waste a perfectly good beard

The only way to follow that up was to barely run the next week, then run ther New Bedford Half Marathon on Sunday! I threw down a stinker running a 1:14:42 for 70th place. I have run 1:10:00 for 9th place there in the past. My greatest accomplishment of the weekend was sporting a sweet handlebar mustache.

I'm finally starting to feel like a human being again. I'm starting to get my mileage up and getting some workouts again. I know I'm in decent shape after this winter. I just need to get back on track.


  1. i got exhausted again just reading this...

  2. I'd give you 3 minutes for the 'stache alone. That thing is awesome!

  3. Kevin Tilton, you're my hero. ;-)

  4. NICE 70's vintage stash. If you ever need to look the elder statesman that'll do it.

    I was grinning and having some road trip flashbacks reading your story... 3 of us 36hrs Denver to Western Ma; driving a night stretch straight across Iowa coming back from a Yellowstone fishing trip and not remembering one bit of it; a 1000 mile day trying to get across the Mississippi and put the "east" behind us...

    These days Terry and I take 2hr rotations because neither bladder or back can go much longer. Man am I feeling old.

  5. This all nighter stuff must be secret ultra marathon training.

  6. i thought the funniest moment of all was when you took a 1/2 hour nap at McDonald's in Meredith.