Run like an animal.
Well, 3 years ago I ran this as my first trail race. The night before I nearly decided I wasn't ready. I ran anyway, thankfully. Not a great performance but everyone needs to start somewhere. I finished with a 3:37 which was 47th out of 64. That's where it all began.
Last year I was back, again for the 25k. I ran a 2:56 which was 36th of 72. I felt better as my goal was a sub 3-hour.
That brings us to this year. I had a goal of a sub 2:40. Going in I obviously didn't feel ready and was a little disappointed in my training. I realize I will always be a middle of the packer but you still need discipline. I figured I would go out faster than normal, push the hills early and hope to have enough in the tank to finish. I knew in the back of mind that there was the reality of bonking hard.
I started running an 8 minute mile until I hit 3.5 miles. This is where the first little grind hits. It's not a large climb but climbing for me is my Achilles. I did pretty well and reached the aide station with heavier legs than I wanted. You then hit a pretty sweet downhill and I let it all out. I figured if gravity would slow me going up, it better help me going down. Once you hit the bottom you go over some rollers before you hit the biggest climb of the run. I knew for me that this was where the race was going to be decided for me. I have run this 3 other times and I knew the result if I walked it., I have never truly tried to run it so I never knew how it would pan out. I decided to go for it. I ran a good 90+% and did it ever hurt. I got to the top and gladly started running some level single track. From there, you go on some amazing rolling single track. The views are breath-taking and lets face it- that's what I am here for. I hit the aide station and my time wasn't too bad but I knew I spent lots of juice on the climbs so keeping up my pace was in question.
It's funny, breaking down this running thing is so very basic if you break in down from the start.
Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Seriously-that's it. At one point I thought about walking for a minute to get my second wind ready but my legs wouldn't let me. It was almost as if they knew it would hurt if I stopped and tried to start again. I hit the last downhill and could see the finish line in the far distance. I still wasn't sure if I could hit my goal but I wasn't sure if I couldn't either. I ran knowing no matter how bad it hurt, it would eventually be over anyway so suck it up and deal with it.
There was the finish line- as I crossed the time read 2:32. I DID IT! I hit my goal and finished 1 hour and 5 minutes faster than 06 and 24 minutes faster than 07'. Hell, I'll take it. I finished 21st out of 93 and 7th in my age group. I was pumped. Progress and results. Evolution faster than the ape.
I have had a pretty good start for 08. My next scheduled race in Squaw Peak 50 which is a monster. I have a goal of finishing under 12 hours which will require better discipline than I have showed but I am ready for the challenge. Could use a pacer or 2 though.
Run like a animal! Or at least run with them...