Another 1 day cold snap for the Horse Butte 10 miler. It has been COLD every year for FootZone’s Horse Butte Trail Race. It was a great day just the same. I got up and road my cyclocross commuter bike to the start for some extra credit and a warm up. The trailhead is about 12 miles from my house.
It was almost 60 and sunny on Saturday, but I woke up on Sunday to 23 degrees, windy and a fresh dusting of snow on the ground. The 8am bike to the trailhead was freakin’ cold! But, I’ve been riding a lot lately and I’m getting pretty used to it.
I saw the usual herd of mule deer in the old burn meadow by Bessie Butte on my way up China Hat Road (the back way to the trailhead). I spun into the parking area to hear Super Dave yelling “8 minutes to the start!” Perfect. I quickly unlayered, locked my bike to a Ponderosa, threw my extra gear in my pannier packs, traded my SPD shoes for the Mizuno Wave Ronin 2 and walked to the start line with 2 minutes to spare and a 53 minute bike warm-up on my legs.
We took off and immediately Andy Martin shot off the front (not a surprise) with Damon Kluk close behind him. About 4 of us settled into places 3-6 in a little group for the fist half mile…I was in 5th. By about 3/4 of a mile I was finding myself wanting to stride out more and the guy in 4th was slowing down from the start adrenaline. So, I passed him when the trail allowed and went into a comfortable stride. First mile split was 6 min. flat.
By the first switchback climb up the first plateau, I was still in 4th with a comfortable gap on 5th and pretty much stayed there the rest of the race. DANG! It was REALLY windy on the return part of the loop the last 5 miles! It’s an old burn and there aren’t any trees and it’s pretty exposed to the west. The wind was whipping hard. Nothing like a hard headwind for resistence training the last 5 miles! I ended up running a 1:05:45.
I didn’t see 3rd place for the remainder of the race…he ended up being about 2 minutes in front of me…Damon ran a minute faster for 2nd and Andy crusied in for the win in 58:50. I was happy, as it was my 5th run back on dirt in the past week, since coming off the past 4 weeks of the injury and biking and pool running only for training. I was able to hold LT pace for 58 minutes, which I hadn’t planned on. If any of you folks get injured, get in the pool for 2 or 3 hard Lactate Threshold workouts a week while you recover. It’s boring, but it’s the ticket to keep your high end.
Time now to get ready for the Peterson Ridge Rumble 30k in 6 days (or the 60k…still an outside chance I might try to slog the 60k on the limited running I’ve been doing…tempting). I have been biking A LOT for long volume. I’d much rather run the 60k if I had a choice…hmmm.