Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Lovely Day in the Woods: Sourdough Snowshoe 2014

This morning I had the pleasure of doing some snowshoe running in the 2014 Sourdough Snowshoe Race along the Sourdough Trail outside Nederland, Colorado. So how did the race go? Well, for me, it was a great day, and a not-so-great day. A great day because: how can you ever say that a morning spent in the woods, warmed by bright Colorado sunshine, is anything but wonderful?! And, not-so-great because I didn't finish the race. In fact, I hardly started the race.

First, let me say that the Sourdough Snowshoe Race is very well organized, on a beautiful course that winds its way through the woods, and with a very friendly atmosphere. As we all took off from the start line and headed into the trees, the sky was bright blue and the sun made the snow sparkle. The morning was full of promise, and I was excited to run the 30k race and make the most of the gorgeous weather and the mostly-solid snow conditions on the trail. But it was not to be.

Almost immediately, I became aware of something chafing against my heels. Hot spots developed near where the collar of the shoe rubbed against my ankle. I stopped a few times to try to adjust things -- pull up my socks, tighten or loosen my shoes -- but two miles in, with my heels raw, I decided to call it a day, so I took off my number and turned around, finishing with a little over four miles completed. The Peak Snowshoe Marathon is coming up on March 1, and I don't want to wreck my chances of healing by then.

I have 35 days to figure out what went wrong today, remedy that in the next few snowshoe training runs, and heal my heels. Here's hoping I can manage it: I have a lot of races coming up, and I do not intend to add any more DNFs to the year.

Thank you to all the volunteers of the Sourdough Snowshoe Race -- I highly recommend the race to anyone interested in snowshoeing -- and I'll see you on the trail!

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