The NJ Trail Winter Series

What do you mean it time to grow up? I don’t want any part. Now you so ashamed? I am so ashamed of you! We believed the same things.” -Gorilla Biscuits

Last year the time between camps was a total fail. Snow and low motivation saw me bail on too many workouts and get way into Battlestar Galactica.

This year between So Cal and SLB I wanted to make sure I didn’t repeat last year. Things got off to a good start when the CREW turned out group ride into a 103 mile ride over every climb and 8000 feet of elevation.
The next day was a great double run with 3.5 hours of riding between, and this started off 7 days of running focus for me. I needed to switch things up and while running isn’t a priority for me compared to my cycling I figured this was the only time to do it and the best time since it would bring some motivation and no excuses due to winter.

It worked and I got in about 70 miles. I think more than that might have been bad for me and risky for an injury. but by day 6 I was already looking to switch it up so At the last second I found a trail race and jumped in.

It was cool but clear and the ground was only half frozen. The 10k course started with 2k of rolling terrain before hit a sick long, steep an miserable climb. It was me and two other guys but this hill soon ripped us apart. I found myself in the middle. The gap to the leader was 10 seconds at the top before we hit a tight twisty loose rock section with a lot of whale bone too. By the bottom the gap was over 20 seconds. I was losing time uphill and also down hill. It was at that moment I realized I was out of options for catching up!

The next section was pure ankle death. Tons of rocks and loose rocks and no clear safe lines. I kinda wished I didn’t have racing flats on as some of the rocks were sharp enough to smash the bottoms of my feet. In my big-babieness I lead on 3rd place shrunk and he was right behind me. Its like a bear popping out of the woods; and a kind of fear got me to another level.

The last 2k is a long long long steady climb, which is my favorite and I used it to put some space between me and 2nd.

What was amazing was my time:49:37. That’s got to be near a personal worse! But that’s more about the course (ok and maybe some lacking early season fitness). The course was truly evil and awesome and Christine a top runner at most tris also took 2nd and had trouble breaking the hour mark.

It gives me a whole new level of respect for real trail races like western states or Leadville. Going 50k-100 miles is insane but doing it on trails like this is just sick!