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<span style="color:#003366;"><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><b>The Boston Prep 16-miler</b></span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">Just the facts, ma'am:</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">Distance: 16 miles</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">Time: 2:20:14 (subject to verification)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">Pace: 8:45 min/mile</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">Weather: 23 degrees, snowy, and slippery</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">Fashion: CW-X Pro tights, 2 long sleeve tech-tees, and my trusty GoLite Jacket. Black balaclava, orange Boston Marathon cap, and Neutrogena Moisture Shine lip balm in "Glow".</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">The Boston Prep 16-miler is a perfectly situated race during the winter training season as a challenge for those who are bound for Boston in the Spring. The course is billed, tongue-in-cheek, as moderately challenging. Moderately, my A$$! It wasn't until I looked at my Garmin elevation profile after last year's race that I realized that the logo on their shirt was THE REAL DEAL!</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;"><img alt="" src="http://gdtc.org/files/bp_trans.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">My elevation profile from last year's race:</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;"><img alt="" src="http://i30.tinypic.com/b5mbr5.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"></span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">Those hills are killer!</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">As I drove into Derry, New Hampshire this morning, I was immediately suspicious. The "snow showers" promised by Accuweather and weather.com had morphed into something more serious, and there was white stuff all around. As I left my home this morning, my DH had jokingly suggested that I bring my YakTrax with me, and I laughed. I wasn't laughing now. My AWD car had difficulty getting traction as I pulled into the parking lot. That didn't bode well for my rubber-soled feet, which were decidedly less sure-footed that my all-wheel drive...</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">The parking lot was about a mile away from the Derry Village School, and the shuttle bus pulled away, completely full. Rather than wait for another swing around in the 23 degree weather, I opted to take the warmup jog to the school. It was good to get a sense of the treacherous footing. Definitely a lot of slipping and sliding going on.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">I spent the warmup time at the school getting relaxed. When I run on snow or ice, I definitely tend to tense up, usually far more so than the situation really demands. My feet and ankles get really sore when that happens...and over 16 miles, I wasn't sure that I'd even make it in that state. So, I did some yoga and stretching and really worked on loosening up. I decided that if I was going to do well, my focus was going to have to be on RELAXING.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">Then I met the Pro! "The Pro from Dover", aka Craig, one of my "imaginary friends" from here, as my DH loves to call them. I snapped a picture on my iPhone:</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;"><img alt="" src="http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b8df06b3127cceb40b77472be200000025109AcuWjho0ak" style="border:0px solid;"></span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">And then we had to force ourselves out into the blustery, wintery, snowiness. We all trudged up to the starting line:</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;"><img alt="" src="http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b8df06b3127cceb40b7744aad100000026109AcuWjho0ak" style="border:0px solid;"></span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">Here you can see what much of the course was like. Slick, slushy surface, with some "tracks" carved out by car traffic. The road was very slippery, and I shook my fists at more than a few runners going by with their YakTrax on. Why, why, why hadn't I considered bringing them more seriously?</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;"><img alt="" src="http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b8df06b3127cceb40b7740aad500000025109AcuWjho0ak" style="border:0px solid;"></span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">And then we were off. The first mile was just ridiculously slow. In addition to the usual crush of people, everyone was jockeying for position in the few less treacherous areas of the road. Add to this the fairly steep uphill climb that was made even less efficient by the slippage, and the first mile passed in a disappointing 10:06.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">Subsequent miles were better as we all started to find our footing and get into a groove. We ran single file for the most part, in the groove of the tire prints, just to be safe. At times, I would look up ahead at a curve in the road, and the line of colorfully-clad runners looked just like the serpentine peloton in the Tour de France. It felt similar to my inline speedskating days, when we skated in a pace line, as close as possible.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">This arrangement made it difficult to find my pace. By nature, I'm a trudger on the uphills and a bomber on the downhills. This enforced pace line made me run faster on the ascents at times, and slowed me on the descents. On a few occasions, I "made a break for it", veering out from the line into the accumulated icy snow. Sometimes I got enough purchase that I could pass the person in front of me and rejoin the line. Other times, I slipped and slid, to a collective, "oooh" from the runners behind me, who graciously let me back into a slot after my foolish attempt.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">Slowly, though, I passed people. Miles 10, 11, and 12, the steepest of the uphills, were rough, and I could feel Friday's resistance workout burning in my leg muscles. But after that...it was smooth sailing downhill, coasting back to the finish line.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">2:20:14 (unofficially)...5 minutes faster than last year's race despite the tricky conditions! The race was not miserable or uncomfortable...just tricky. I really learned a lot about handling slippery conditions. Like, bring YakTrax the next time.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">I had been hoping for closer to an 8:30 pace, but I'm pleased with this time.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">ETA: I just got some pictures back from last weeks race....</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;"><br>
You can just barely see me in the orange cap at the start...<br><br><img alt="" src="http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b8dc23b3127cceb4fc72dff49500000025109AcuWjho0ak" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
And here I am at about 15.8 miles...in the original size, you can see the snow encrusted around my eyelashes and eyebrows. And, I forgot to tell in my race report that I dropped a glove at about Mile 3 and just kept switching my 1 glove from one hand to the other every 3 miles or so...I look so stoopid with one glove on!<br><br><img alt="" src="http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b8dc23b3127cceb4fc75eb350a00000025109AcuWjho0ak" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Here's the original size...with the snow encrusted face...<br><br><img alt="" src="http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b8dc23b3127cceb4fd87a3944700000025109AcuWjho0ak" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br></span></span><span style="font-family:'Century Gothic';"><span style="color:#003366;">--Robin</span></span>
 

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Tricky is the PERFECT word for this race this year...I think after last years 0 degree wind chill and this years snow, next year it must be 40-45, no wind, and sun...what do you think?<br><br>
Great job out there today!
 

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What a spellbinding RR! Good for you, Robin!
 

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Robin, fantastic run on a tough course. You did really well. I ran long yesterday (no snow) and ice skated indoors today. The footing outside was treacherous. Congratulations!!!
 

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Robin - nice job in those conditions! The elevation profile's scary enough and to add snowy, slick conditions . . . you did great! Enjoyed the report.
 

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Robin, one of the most important things I take from your RR is your preparation: the mile jog, the yoga and stretching, and concentrating on <i>relaxing</i> (I sure know what you mean about being tense in those conditions -- ugh). Slippery conditions, especially over this distance, can really take a toll.<br><br>
So your result is super and I'm glad you're happy with it. What a great start to your Boston training!<br><br>
You and Pro sure look cute in that pic. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Robin, those are some nice pictures! They were all from your iphone? Congratulations for navigating 16 miles of hills on a slip n slide faster than last year. Enjoyed the read. cj
 

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Congrats on running a great race. I'm pretty sure I saw you and The Pro during the time before the race.<br><br>
Sorry you didn't quite get the 8:30s today. To be honest, with the condtions the way they were today, 8:30s would have been very tough.<br><br>
Nice pics.
 

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Nicely done, Robin! Those are tough conditions for racing, so beating last year's time is a great accomplishment.<br><br>
Good luck with your marathon training!
 

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RT,<br><br>
Great report. You nailed the conditions for those not lucky enough to partake. And pics! Nice run for you too. Great job and terrific to get a hug!
 

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<img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> (just teasin')<br><br>
Wow; excellent improvement over last year! This bodes well for 2008. I agree with Sans Soos -- there is wisdom to be gained from reading this RR. Now, 'scuze me, I gotta go get in line for a hug from Pro!
 

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Robin I think you nailed it the race and prerace too.<br>
Snow was just too deep see the nail head when you got through.<br>
Look forward to hear your training reports.<br>
Great read and pics too.<br><br>
that lucky Pro<br>
jjj
 

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Nice run, Robin. And I'm sure you're not the only one who has all the right equipment and then ends up leaving it behind! <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif">
 

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Robin - Congratulations on a great race under difficult conditions. This was one of the best RR's I've ever read. You should write a book someday.<br><br>
Mike
 

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Racing in hills on slush and ice. Hmmmm, tricky is a mild way to put it! Great race, and wonderful photos! (Robin, I always love your RR's not only for your narrative and performance, but excellent pics!) Yak Trax would've been a good idea here...
 

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Nicely done!!!<br><br>
For future reference - bringing yak trax more or less guarantees that you won't actually need them.
 

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My group ran the course twice... The first loop (starting at 7am) was MUCH snowier than loop 2. Loop 2 was nothing but slush! None of us used yak trax nor did we think they were necessary... but... to each his own.
 

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I don't know how you do that. The pics say it all. Thanks for the report. It makes me appreciate the 63 degrees I ran in this evening!
 
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