Leg 1: 2.5 miles in 20min with 800ft gain. Another Leg 1 with a strong group of runners and another gravel road that just gets steeper and steeper for 2 miles. We started off and quickly established our positions. Boy, 7min pace on flat ground hasn't felt this hard since probably last year. I stayed in front of the 2 teams I assumed I would beat. The surprise was when the 2nd overall team just imploded. I had my eye on team moonsuit but the 50m edge he got early on basically remained the whole uphill. The 2nd mile was almost 10min, I think my slowest of the weekend. Still a solid result.
Leg 9: 3.6 miles in 23min with 800ft drop and 400ft gain. Just the 2nd leg of this headwaters that I've done before and it turns out I was faster this year by 30sec! Interesting my first 3 miles were nearly identical, but my final 1/2 mile was much better this year. By this leg, there was no one to run with and I took the downhill easy as I remembered feeling tired by the uphill (which is odd that I was nearly the same pace as last time). The uphill was still miserable as I'd done lots of climbing by this point. Thankfully Heidi showed up like a beacon as the finish is hidden until the very end and then Strider forced a final kick out of me.
Leg 14?: 5.5 miles in 34min with 1000ft drop. Finishing my legs with my longest leg, but it's just a long downhill. Thankfully the beating that my back and legs took on the day 1 downhill enabled a smoother downhill this time. And though it wasn't hard to do, I just wasn't comfortable for any mile of it (as you can imagine after 3 hard days and 35 miles of running). Plus, it's completely in the sun with no team support. At least I can say I've done it now as it was a leg I'd been interested in.
Leg 19: 0.5 mile: Just running into the finish with the team.
Another successful Headwaters, my 4th. Overall fitness was much better than I feared, though by day 3 I had accepted my fitness and started getting disappointed that I wasn't better. Also very happy that my achilles didn't hinder 95% of my running nor did it seem to get worse (still stiff every morning of course). As I can't imagine doing anything more stressful on my body than I did the past 3 days, I will continue with my plan of training without concern for my injuries as fall racing is quickly approaching and I need some workouts. Reevaluation scheduled in 2.5 months.