Sunday, August 16, 2015

RACE REPORT: Xterra Table Rock 15K Trail Race 2015


Another race that I don’t realize that I have on my calendar until the week of. 

THE LEAD UP

Sunday, Aug 9th:
Day after the 5K XC race.  My feet were too shot to safely run, after doing the race in spikes, and then running around Spartanburg to find geocaches, in the slipper-like Hattoris.  Did a 55 min strength session, instead.

Work this week was crazy: worked 8:30am-10:30pm on Monday.  Had a sandwhich from Firehouse subs.  Put 2 level 9 or 10 sauces on the sub.  One tasted hot… the other was fire.  Even the air around my sub burned my eyes.  It didn’t start hurting my tummy til after I ate it (half of it), though.  Walking was hard.

The next day, I only worked til 7, so that I could try to get in a run.   The sandwich was so good that I ate it again, knowing well what it could do to me.  I tried to dilute it with extra Tomato, but even tons of water hadn’t helped the burn in my stomach the previous day.  I tried to run on the treadmill about an hour and a half later, but I only made it 1-2 minutes.  When not running, my tummy was feeling better by then, but once I started running, it seemed to re-activate the heat-producing compounds in my tummy.  Oh well… hope for tomorrow.

Wednesday, Aug 12:
Ran before work at my apartment complex’s fitness room, for the first time ever.  I should’ve tried taking advantage of this before.  They open at 6, supposedly, so if I get everything for work ready before that, I can do the run and get to work when I need to.  Did 5.0 in 41:34, 8:19 average, 2 degrees of incline = 7:59 effort.  Legs woke up fresh, even t his early, thankfully.  Hungrier today during work, as a result of the run.  Worked til 8pm tonight.
Was rushing through lunch and not eating as much each day this week, with the crazy meetings.  An 11 hr workday feels short, after going through this week.  Had green smoothies this week, too… felt healthy.

RACE REPORT:

15K is not much.  I did 10 miles in 1:14.  This was a trail race, though, so I checked last year’s winning times.  I’m glad I did, because I realized that the winner took more than 2 hrs, so I brought food and 7oz of water accordingly. There was only 1 waterstop, which we’d pass twice. 
The race started with about 1.5 miles of road, which thankfully gave the field a chance to spread out before we hit the trailhead.  Learning from the last race, I tried to pace better on the uphill.  The race went up the mountain (2000 ft up), then down, with the extra up and down due to elevation changes on the trail on top of that.  I did a wee bit of passing.  Power walked on most of the ups.  All about managing effort.  Breathing heavy, even walking.  Kept going up and up.  Glad to have my 7oz of water in a soft flask in my Salamon S Lab shorts, to take on the way up. 

The view at the top was breathtaking, with a sheer drop… way above the forested mountains below.  Turned my head to try to take in a few seconds of the view as I ran ahead.  The first part of the return trip had technical down, with what looked like loose gravel.  Took it conservatively.  Then, runnable downhill.  About 2/5 of the way through, caught up to the 3rd place girl, and seconds later, the 2nd place girl appeared.  We  were all in a tight row.  With single-track, there wasn’t any passing, and the 2nd place girl was taking it easy, but knowing that there was open road for the last 1.5 miles, I knew I could save it and pass then.  I had a good kick.  I took it easy, biding my time.  Passed the 3rd place girl when there was a chance, and she let us go.  Kept right on 2nd place girl, and she was able to keep pushing.  Kept on her heels for like a mile.  Then, I kind of ran out of gas and she pulled away.  She was able to cover it all.  Finally, road again, which still involved some big uphills.  The now 4th place girl was not far behind, I saw in the last 500 or so meters, so I sprinted to the finish.  It took me a while to catch my breath.  Water tasted so good.  
  



Great race organization.  Well-flagged.  Good food at the bottom.  Nice trail.  Good setup with the road-based start and finish.  Good care from park rangers.  A+++.  Got 3rd.  9.3 mi in 2:06:24.

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