time = 2:11:44
pace = 10:03
placed 4th in my age group (40-44) out of 38
placed 13th in women out of 230
placed 80th overall out of 495
i'm mildly disappointed in my time. this is a PR for me on this course (ran it last year to the tune of 2:15:17), but my stomach stopped cooperating around mile 6 or 7. it got really bad for miles 11-12 where i did a considerable amount of walking to avoid a mess. i finally had to dip into the woods on mile 12 to take care of it so that i could finish the race strong. i'm really kinda annoyed about the whole thing. i'm feeling some kinda way about it because, while this is an ongoing thing i joke about, it is not very funny. i make light of it because there's really nothing else to do about it. so i lost very valuable minutes on those miles. not a whole 11 minutes but i could have certainly finished at least 3-5 minutes faster without all the walking because of the stomach/bathroom issue. i guess that's neither here nor there at this point.
when it was time to line up i decided to head towards the front. last year i was near the middle and ended up getting caught in a conga line up the 2 mile uphill that makes the beginning of the race remarkable. i researched my mile splits for last year and knew that i needed to pick up the pace for miles 1,2,7, and 10 specifically so i was determined to be near the front to start. i started strong and took off with the speed racers. they spread out quite quickly and i only had to pass a handful of people. i was running nearly alone the majority of my race with only a handful of other racers near me the whole time. i did really well for miles 1 and 2 beating my paces from last year so i felt confident that i would be able to PR if i could keep this up.
i was running strong and then at mile 4.9something i tripped. yup... tripped. my arms flew out in front of me and slid across the gravel (yes... gravel.) in a land level superman.
i make the very stupid decision (for the second time) to bypass the bathroom at the end of the loop which is mile 8 or 9 i think, and zip past to try and put space between me and the other runners who are stopping at the aid station for drinking and feeding. this is a mistake because it is the only port-o-potty on the whole course. i passed it just before mile 5 on the way out to the loop and this is me passing it on the way back from finishing the loop. STUPID STUPID STUPID.
i fly past and keep going. mile 10 is coming up fast and it is one where i earmarked it as being a place i had to really pay attention to my pace. unfortunately, i ended up doing a bit of walking here and there. i made it through 10 and 11 with some walking, but my pace seemed ok so i wasn't too worried except that my stomach was really talking to me at this point. i wasn't sure anymore that i could make it to the end of the race without a bathroom break.
i thought if i could just make it to the downhill then everything would be gravy. the 2 mile uphill at the beginning is also the 2 mile downhill at the end where i can kill it! i look forward to it and welcome the reprieve. it was not to be...
i had to do more and more walking breaks to keep my body in check and finally at mile 12 had to step off the trail and handle things. made for a very slow mile. i tried to make up the time by bombing the hill as fast as i safely could but it didn't make up enough time to cover all the walking i had to do prior. seems like i should have just gone to the bathroom at mile 4 and made up the time after... live and learn i suppose.
the downhill was really fun after my stomach felt better. i flew over that trail as fast as my feet would carry me. my best was not good enough to reach my 2 hour time goal but i still got a PR which is great. if i'm being honest i'm not sure i could ever get 2 hours on this course. the hills are brutal. the grade of some of them are as steep as 11-17% in places which (given my inability to successfully run uphill) makes it seem a virtually impossible goal.
this race is really fun. if you are interested in a very challenging single track trail race that will keep you on your toes then this is for you. there were no bugs this year or last and the varying terrain keeps things interesting. i can think of nothing more fun than trail running.
one more thing... last year i think i said that this wasn't as hard as running at lapham peak. i take that back after running it this second time. it is harder. i'm not sure why i thought it was easier except that maybe i was having so much fun last time (it being my very first REAL trail race) that i just didn't notice how hard it was. it IS, in fact, VERY CHALLENGING... it is harder than the trail half at lapham. so there's that.
|tired, finished, cleaned up... resting|