I went to bed too late, slept poorly, and was not ready to get out of bed this morning. I had gained about 3 lbs from everything I ate yesterday. I tried to get my body in the mood to run a race and felt better by the time we left.
The temp at the start was about 50 so perfect for running. I ran the 20K (2 loops) which started at 9:00 and the 10K started at 9:20.
We started off going down hill and at a fast pace positioned in 6th place. I quickly realized that those 5 guys in front of me were faster runners and I just settled into my own pace and let them go. The trail was in really good shape just like last year so not much mud to deal with. I took a little water at every station but didn’t really feel like I needed that much. My feet ached and I didn’t start to feel better until about 4 miles.
The water was up in the creek after 4 miles and I splashed right through it and then ran with wet shoes. The water looked so clear and the bottom looked pretty smooth. I didn’t see the big rocks that we used to step on in this creek. I guess that might have washed away with all the rain this year.
I was alone and couldn’t see anyone in front or behind me until near the end of the first loop. There was a guy gaining on me. The last 1.5 miles of this course are the hardest and I took all the hills in the first loop really easy. At the start of the second loop I really felt like I hadn’t done much and was looking forward to the second loop. I ran the first loop in 49:42 which was slower than last year. At this point, I figured I might be able to at least run the course about as fast as last year.
At the second loop I take off just as fast as the first loop and push the pace just a little. I ran fast where I can and still take it easier on the hills. I am pulling ahead of the guy behind me and eventually, I am not seeing him. I wondered if I would ever catch anyone ahead of me since I knew I had picked up the pace quite a bit.. I do pass quite a few 10Kers. With 3 miles to go, I push a bit more. All the time, I feel like I am being very conservative with the pace.
With about a half mile to go, I see a guy ahead of me running too fast to be the 10K so I assume he ran the 20K. I was gaining on him and caught up and passed him He told me to keep pushing. I pushed to the end and ran 1:36:36 (7:47 pace). I wasn’t aware of my total time during the run so I was very pleased to see this on the clock. I just keep each split on my Garmin and not the total time.
M1 - 7:24 M7 – 7:21
M2 - 8:28 M8 – 8:05
M3 - 7:32 M9 – 7:29
M4 - 7:32 M10 – 6:56
M5 - 8:40 M11 – 7:33
M6 - 8:46 M12 – 8:09
First 10K Loop – 49:42 (8:00 pace)
2nd 10K Loop – 46:54 – (7:33 pace)
Placed 5th overall of 22 runners in the 20K and 2nd of 6th in my age group of 30 – 39. It turned out the nice guy I passed in the last half mile was in my age group. I was so glad that he still got a plaque. Hugh ran the 10K finishing in 55:25, 17 of 54 and 3rd in age group. We both got plaques in our age group.
I feel like I am really cutting some time off of my trail runs. I cut off 3 min and 8 sec from last year. From the first year I ran the 20K in 2005, I cut off 6 min 16 sec minutes off I ran the 10K on this course in 2004 and today my 2nd 10K was 1 min 40 sec faster. I felt like I had something left at the end too. This is completely different than how I felt the first year I ran the 20K and I was wiped out for weeks. Last year I felt the same as today where I had something left. A few years of trail running and running more trail miles seems to making a big difference.