Saturday, January 22, 2011

Self Indulgent Blog Post

I try not to put myself too much on this blog, as I feel that most of the notable accomplishments are done by the athletes that I am lucky enough to coach. However, ever since Coach Whitenack challenged me to compete in the Warrior Dash this summer, I have been training quite regularly. (You can check out my training at if you are really bored.) My wife Beth got me a sweet Garmin GPS watch, I jog to my daughter Chloe's daycare and jog home with her twice a week, and I have been trying to nordic ski every weekend as much as I can. That, plus whatever else I can fit into the busy schedule I keep, has brought me to this weekend, the Devil's Thumb Ranch annual Devil's Chase, a 17 km cross county ski race.

I was going to compete in the 30 km race, but realized that 30 km of racing was just too much for the level of training I have been doing. So, I set my goals of top ten and under an hour in the 17 km race. It turned out to be a pretty windy and snowy day, but Beth and Chloe and my brother Adam and I set out Saturday morning to Devil's Thumb Ranch for a day of racing. Below are some pictures Beth took, along my cheesy captions.

First feed, at about 6 km. I needed that Gatorade badly!

Yelling at my brother for the water bottle.

The finishing straight, totally into the wind.

Coming into the finish area, showing some pretty good V-2 technique.

I dittched the hat, it was roasting my skull. I do need a haircut, don't I? My brother said my 'fro slowed me down.

At this point, I had been suffering for about 5 km. It was brutal.

The lunge for the line. Hopefully that classic old school New Hampshire racing suit saved me some seconds.

Support crew Beth and Chloe. They hiked 5 miles on snowshoes to watch the race.

Support crew Adam, the gatorade man.

I was pleased with the outcome. I got ninth place overall, with a time of 1:12:56. It was a brutally tough race. Much harder than the Warrior Dash, for sure. There were many points where I was just trying to get one leg in front of the other, and hope for a second (or third, fourth or fifth) wind to come to me. Soft snow and windy conditions made it tough, but it made it tough for everyone. I attempted a cool-down, but my legs had no gas let in them, so I got about a kilometer out and had to turn back. All afternoon I have been laid out from exhaustion and an incredibly painful back. (Dr. Jonas, where are you??) I am proud of the fact I left everything out there, and I am eager to attack this race next year.

So, what does this have to do with HS track? Nothing really, except I know what suffering is. I know how you feel, and I appreciate your effort. Racing and training at a super high level is really tough, and I applaud all of you who do it day in and day out.



RDW said...

Good to see that the nordic suit still fits after Urban squeezed into it a few years ago. Gosh I wish posting pictures was option in comment fields.

Brian Seppala said...

Thank god that is not an option. In all seriousness though, that race was killer. There was one killer downhill per lap, the first time, I nailed it. The second lap, I barely got through (and got a round of hoo-rays from ski patrol at the bottom), but I was DEAD for about 2 km. it was so tough, I was totally drained, and I really hurting. I was just thinking, "get to the downhill, get to the downhill" but until i got there, I was skiing SLOWWWWWW. Tough race, but next year I will be more prepared.


Coach Boymel said...

That looks incredibly crazy, I knew you were a bit on the odd side but that seemed idiotic. I agree with the sentiment to the HS kids. I may not have recent pictures of my heroic efforts to train and compete; I do know the effort and mindset it takes and I applaud you Sep and the HS runners for their efforts as well. I too have been there.

Jenna and Willie said...

Well, Wow. Willie has worn an equally attractive UNH racesuit to do the Boulder Mountain Tour. Speaking of, why don't you come here Saturday and jump in?

Brian Seppala said...

Oh wow,

I would LOVE to come up and try and do that race, but, we got Colorado Track Clinic this weekend. Bummer.

Are there any good races this summer we can come up for?