Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Maine Mayhem! 
Part 1

The Maine Sport Maine Mayhem! was my first race of 2012. Usually, at this point, I've got at least a couple of races under my belt but that just wasn't in the cards this year.  Thankfully though, the Mayhem! is a perfect first race since it's a low key event that is close to home. This year, I decided to give the trail run/mountain bike race a try.  Last year a pair of running shoes was up for grabs for whoever had the fasted combined time of the two races.  I've been running a bit more this year so I figured I might as well give it a shot and because stupidity runs deep in my family, I was able to convince my brother to come up from Boston to take part as well. 

As soon as the 3-ish mile run started I knew I was going to be in for a hard race.  Initially, I was able to come close to the leaders pace but it was a pace I knew was unsustainable.  It was easily 1.5x my normal running pace and I didn't have the excuse of waiting for the dog to pee to explain stopping for a breather so I sucked it up as much as possible knowing that the race would likely be over in 20 minutes.  By about a mile in, most of the sorting had taken place with my brother and 6 others ahead of me on the trail.  This was also the point that I grabbed my GoPro camera from my mother and video'd the remainder of the race.  My vanity wouldn't allow me to wear the camera on the start line so, sadly, I missed most of the action at the beginning of the race but still captured most of the EXCITEMENT! of a trail running race.  Don't believe me?  See for yourself in Monday's post.

Rus coming in for second.

me trudging in for the finish with GoPro
dork band on my head.

By the halfway point of the race, it was way more than clear that I wasn't touching the front of the race.  My brother and Steve Wagner (the leader) were now out of site but I did have a couple of carrots in front of me; one of them being Ander Larson a bikeman teammate.  Try as I might, I just couldn't close the gap.  After one surge (which had me hitting a long time high of 181 bpm) I was able to close to within a couple of seconds of Anders but I just didn't have the legs for that final 10 feet.  I definitely need to work on my speed work with running because top end speed was nowhere in sight but at least I could maintain a pretty solid pace.

Finally, mercifully, I came into the final stretch and tried to give it a finishing kick and maybe finally close the gap to Anders but I had drained my ridiculously small storage of speed long before and ended up simply trudging across the line in 7th place instead just over 2 minutes down on Steve Wagner.  Steve is a strong rider but as I found out before the mountain bike race, he'd only been on his bike a few times this year so I figured that gap should be pretty easy to erase in the mountain bike race.

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