Saturday, September 6, 2014

InStep Trail Races - 1/2 Marathon

InStep Trail Races - 1/2 Marathon - September 6, 2014

time = 2:03:58
pace = 9:27
placed 1 in my age group (40-44) out of 8
placed 6 in women out of 49
placed 24 overall out of 103

THIS.IS.AN.AWESOME.RACE! if you read my blog at all you know how much i LOVE LOVE LOVE lapham peak.

the start/finish BEFORE we start/finish
it's my back yard and an easy go to when i need to get in some beautiful miles without thinking about them.  this race was a no-brainer so i signed up.  admittedly i was very intimidated because i run this so often and i KNOW how challenging the course can be.  it can take a lot out of a person so i was a bit concerned that i wouldn't do well on the second loop or after running the tower.

i woke up to a perfect day.  58 degrees and the humidity had dropped considerably.  it was sunny and cool... absolutely wonderful.  i pulled into lapham and got perfect parking in evergreen grove as i had hoped.  great timing too because it filled up right after i arrived.  once i parked i looked up and saw that i was parked directly behind my friend nic!  how awesome!  so i got out and introduced myself.  we chatted (me, his mother, and myself) and then she and i headed to the bathrooms.  once that task was completed i ran into a couple of other LPTR runners and since the marathoners were about to take off we headed over there to cheer them on. nic was running the marathon (FOUR of the black loop) and i wasn't the least bit surprised to see him in the lead.

the marathon started a 1/2 hour before the half so we chatted a bit and milled around near the start for a little while.  i was looking for my friend jim but didn't see him.  once everyone started lining up there was a pretty good group of LPTR runners and i cannot explain how wonderful it is to start a race with a bunch of friends.  no nervous jitters at all!  jim showed up and we discussed our goal finish which was the same so we planned to run together.

we took off and i pressed the wrong button on my garmin!  good thing i noticed right away because i had turned it off!  i got it started again and all was well with the world.  we took off hella fast, but since that part of the course is mostly flat it felt ok.  we ran all the hills and killed it on the downhills. the first loop went by pretty quickly.  we kept pace with a pack of about 4-5 people in front of us, but once we had to climb the tower we totally lost them.  i have no idea what happened to them.  the tower climb wasn't as bad as i thought it was going to be.  it was tough but mostly just the going up part.  the coming down was easy peasy.

throughout the entire race we were jackrabbiting this one guy in a blue shirt.  he was so good on the up hills!  it was crazy effortless.  he passed us every time and then we smoked him on the straightaways and downhills.  i honestly expected him to pass us at the end, but it never happened which was surprising.

we came through the start for the second loop feeling really good.  nic's mom told me at the end that she saw us but nic was coming through directly behind us and needed gear support so she couldn't say anything to us.  i had no idea he was right behind us!  so weird... the course isn't that big so we thought it was strange that we weren't really seeing anyone from the other race while we were running.

we started the second climb up "gut buster" and surprisingly were only a little bit slower.  11:50 min/mi pace compared to 11:08 min/mi pace the first go around.  this hill is crazy!  it's a half mile long (not counting a smaller part of the hill before it really starts to go up), and this is the fastest two times i've ever run it.

we kept trying to haul ass and we did really well.  there are only two splits that were not so fast.

mile 5 - which looks like the hills leading up to the tower, the climb at the tower, as well as the downhill after the tower so i guess that part was S-L-O-W...

mile 5

mile 8 - which looks like the little hills before "gut buster", "gut buster" itself, and then some of the hills after that.
mile 8

all of the splits

during the second loop we passed one girl on "gut buster" who was a marathoner, and the jackrabbit dude was with us.  after that we saw no one.  no one behind us and no one in front of us save for a couple of marathoners and a couple 7 milers that we passed.  for our race tho'... no one. jim and i decided that was a good thing because there was no way we were going to catch the people ahead of us and the people behind us we gapped big enough that they weren't going to catch us... all that was left was the damn guy in the blue shirt.  we decided he wasn't in jim's age group so not an issue. hahah!

eventually, we passed him up near the end on the "magic carpet ride" down hill and lost him.  i expected him to catch us here but he never came.  on this downhill we finally saw people ahead of us.  tim... one of the LPTR group was directly in front of us but we never did catch him.  much too fast for us.

at the very finish i put it in over drive and ran as fast as i could and got in just before jim.  funnily enough our finish times have him finishing seconds ahead of me.  we decided that he paid a higher entrance fee to get that done.  hahah!  actually, he probably crossed the start before i did and i just made up a little bit of time at the end because i think i was lagging a lot during that first loop compared to him.  he really is why i kept up that awesome pace.  if it weren't for him i would have probably had a much slower finish time and not gotten nearly so close to my goal!  i am so thankful for his encouragement and camaraderie today!  running something this challenging with friends makes it so much more enjoyable and endurable.  we had a magnificent time!  the gap between me and the second place finisher was 19:20 which i think is a significant lead.  i could have totally ran slower! hahah!  the gap between me and the third place finisher was 21:53.  (i'm talking age group placing here... just so that's clear.)  jim came in second in his age group.  the gap between him and the first place finisher was 11:24.  that's a pretty big gap.  then between jim and the third place finisher was a mere 2:03.  so close!  he ran such a great race! man, we killed it!  i'm pretty proud of that.
jim, maggie, and me right after we finished the race
photo by kristine hinrichs

my one complaint is that they didn't have any port-o-pottys right on the course.  i mean... i know where the bathrooms are all along this route but if you're running a race the last thing you want to do is go a few minutes off course to go.  there should have been a port-o-potty right on the sidelines of the start/finish so that all one would have to do is pull over, go, and start running again.  that would be my suggestion for next year.  other than that... aces.

if you get a chance to get out to lapham for a run, race, or hike... you will not be disappointed.  i will be doing this race again for sure!

all the bling with all the sweat and tireds
shows my 19 second time difference from starting my garmin a bit late
me and nic - finishers!


Sun said...

Congrats on your race! Sounds like a perfect morning for some trail racing :)

Josh said...

Nice job! Great conditions, great course, great race. I wish there were a race on the route I train on. Except it's entirely residential and in the center of town. I don't think too many people would go for it.

nikki said...

thanks sun! it was ideal!

nikki said...

maybe you should come out and run lapham some time?!? ;)

Jim said...

Congrats on an awesome race! Thanks for the kind words. Funny, I was thinking how I would have not gotten to my goal without your encouragement and pushing at the right times.

nikki said...

we got each other to the finish! that's for certain!