Saturday, April 3, 2010

Boling Park Trail Run

So I did some cross training today and entered a trail run. If I wasn't more humble, the title of this post would be "Mountain Bike Racer Whoops up on a Bunch of Runners," because that was pretty much how the race went and I'm good and happy about it.

In pretty much every other running event I've done, I generally went out hard, then faded and got passed by runners with a more consistent pace. Knowing that I probably would't change my "Go out Hard" approach, I figured I'd push the pace on the first 1.25 miles (all flat jogging trail) and hopefully destroy and/or demoralize anyone who may have thought about chasing after me. There I am, #262, right where I wanted to be.

This maneuver worked better than expected, because after the first mile, which for me was at a 6:21 pace, I was in, not 3rd in women...3rd overall. I told Chris as I ran by that there should be more people in front of me!

I was somewhat shocked, but thankfully two guys passed me right before we turned into the singletrack, and then I thought all was well with the world again. I paced off the guy in front of me through the first singletrack, then we hit a wide open sewer line cut that included a log hurdle. (I'm not nearly as pissed off in the photo below as my expression would imply..)

One more guy passed me on the sewer line, then we hit the creek crossing and then a series of significant red clay ATV climbs. Two more guys passed me on the first big climb, but they faded shortly after and I passed them back on the next climb and never saw them again. I could run pretty much full speed on all the sketchy pine straw, even the face plant downhill, as I wore my Inov-8 orienteering shoes that have metal studs in the soles. They turned out to be a great choice and I was very happy with my shoe selection for the day.

When I hit the yellow trail singletrack, which was mostly downhill, I knew I could probably hold off any women chasers, as I was railing the corners and flying on the downhills in my magic shoes. I had a guy in front of me that was keeping a great pace, and I stayed behind him until close to the finish. I think he thought I was another guy, so he picked it up on the last quarter mile, but I maintained my pace and sailed on in just behind him.

I had held my overall position for nearly the entire race, so I was super stoked about that. I'm actually pretty happy in this photo, knowing that I wouldn't have to sprint anyone to the line.

So I finished I think 6th overall out of everyone and 1st in the women's race. The next girl was 2+ minutes back, so I guess I could have eased up, but I really enjoyed pushing myself and seeing what I was capable of. I, again, surprised myself and am very happy with how my training has been going thus far. My overall pace, according to my Garmin, was 7:10 per mile, which is a good pace considering we had some sizable hills. My mom thought I did a good job, because, as she said...I have shorter legs than most of the guys....LOL

My quads were a little stiff afterwards from the downhill pounding they took, but tomorrow's ride should loosen them right up. I'm looking forward to yet another sunny day in the mountains!

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