Sunday: I went for an 11 miler to meet my Marathontalk.com Marchvelllous Spring Motivation Challenge target. Another reason was thaht my body craved cardio last night... my blood vessels felt clogged and wanted some pumping out. It was raining for a lot of the day, but I was even consider doing it in the cold rain. I wanted to be outside. It stopped raining for a few hours in the day,and I went then. I didn't need any h20 or fuel during the run, although I did get a bit hungry in the last couple of miles. I rolled my ankle at mile 6 when I didn't pay attention to the footing. It was flat ground, but there was a dog up ahead that I was worried about. It was worse than the usual rolls, and I considered walking back and calling it a day to assess the damage, but I tried running, and it was doable. It got 100% better after a couple of days. A dog, another dog, started chasing me at mile 10. Boo dogs trained to kill... people shouldn't have those kinds of dogs. The run felt easy, and it was a good confidence booster. It was good training for the 12K.
Monday: 55 min strength sesesion.
Tuesday needed to rest, after the 5K followed by the long run followed by the strength session. Double night-time calls would've made it impossible to work out anyway. Wendesday, I would've run for sure, since I always do my last pre-race run on Wednesday to have 2 full days of rest, but I had to solve an IT issue at work, and I didn't get home until 9:30pm. Oh well...
Thursday: I couldn't go an entire week without running, so I did a Thursday run, even if it may affect my Saturday race. I kept it short, at 4 mi, although I kept up the intentisy. 7:54/mi, although incline-graded, it was a 7:19 effort, which is pretty speedy.
The third weekend race in a row. I missed racing during my 6 weeks of travel abroad, and I wanted stuff to do. I mostly race 5Ks and HMs, so I don't know much about 10K-ish distance pacing. I looked up previous race results and saw that last year's winners ran in 54 min-ish. That's fast! Especially for a trail run!!! North Carolinians must be fast. While at Princeton, I did 7 mi training runs at the 55-60 min range often, so I wasn't sure how I'd do at this race.
It was a 10am start, which was great for an outa-towner. I got to wake up at my usual time and make the 90 min trip up. Dupont Forest is where Hunger Games was filmed, which is awesome.... I love the fact that I live less than 90 min away from the Arena.
Got there, ran to the porta potty, got my number. Considered wearing a singlet, but it got really warm, so as always, I was glad to go with the sports bra. They had 1 water stop halfway, and 7.4 mi is short, so I didn't feel the need to carry water. I had a gel 20 min prerace, along with 3 coffee beans 40 min prerace.
I saw the elevation chart online, but I didn't memorize it... all I noted from that and race recaps was that the first mile was downhill, the last mile is uphill, and there's up and down pretty evenly in between, switching about every mile or so. The course was kind of like a giant loop. It ended up going on many different trails, though, so I wasn't able to retrace the route during my postrace trail run.
The race started in a field, which helped to open things up. There was 1 small water crossing in the first mile that could be traversed with 3 rock hops. I passed people one-by-one for the first 5.5-ish miles. There were 3 cameramen on course. I tended to fly downhill, and I tried to use uphill running techniques going up. Still trying to figure out best practices, but I think I did ok. Small steps, and I tried using my arms as levers on my legs for some of the steeper parts. My lower back and arms got tired about halfway... I thought I was in pretty good shape in the strength arena, but apparently not enough!
I passed the last cluster of people at around mi 5.5, and I surged to put in some distance. They ended up getting pretty close, maybe 30s to 1 min behind, but I was able to maintain it... phew.
I got 4th for the women, which is better than I expected. 56:31... not bad! I missed 2nd and 3rd by about a minute... wish I was a minute faster, but maybe next year. I know the course now, and I can get better with uphills.
I splurged on Salomon Gear, after being inspired by Killian's Quest videos on Youtube. Trail runners look like they have so much fun, and they have cool gear. I've been wanting to test it out for a long time, but it's hard to justify the gas$ for making the trip up to the mountains. This race was a perfect reason to go, and I got to hang out in the mountains afterwards.
I brought water in flasks, but I didn't end up drinking or eating during the run, because I had already refueled postrace, and I didn't go for that long. My intention had been to retrace the course, but the flags had been removed by the time I went back out. I did ok at first, as I recognized some landmarks, but then I lost it, and I did some exploring. The network is pretty extensive, so without a high-res map, I had to guess. I ran into some nice bikers with a map (which I hope to purchase in the future), and I was able to find a straightforward way back to the Guion Farms access area.
I tried to map my run today... it was really hard, and the results may not be accurate, although the distance seems about right. I was wearing a Garmin, but I lost signal a few times, so it may not be reliable. I think I did about 6 mi in 54:02, 9:00 ave.
(my guess at my post-race run course)
Oh, I saw a pig in the last mile of the run! That's a first. I've run into a turtle, heron, turkey, and lizard on my runs, but never-before a pig!