Monday, July 20, 2009

Battle at Big Springs

Race: Battle at Big Springs (4.82 Miles) 00:41:29, Place overall: 26, Place in age division: 5
Slow miles Fast miles Total Distance
3.50 1.82 5.32

Enoch and I got there so early that I think we even beat the race organizers. We parked up at the top and walked down to the packet pick-up after sitting in the car for 10 minutes. Then we did a total of about 1/2 mile warm-up just running up and down the park road and then up the dirt road to the starting line.

The race started about 10 minutes late, which is still 20 minutes better then their last race. Oddly enough, they had the start of the race running down the dirt road for .2 mile and then abruptly back up the steep road. So of course everyone just took off to try and stay ahead of the forming dust cloud. My knee felt good during the warm-up and on the first downhill start, so I decided I would run a normal race and see how it turned out, knowing that if I even felt a twinge, I would back off. While I had a number of problems during this race, my knee would not be one of them.

I'm actually in this picture, near the front of the big pack, in gray.

After the quick downhill you were uphill for a solid mile +. On that first uphill I felt good and pushed the pace, staying in the top 15 runners. It was all runnable, which I did, and was able to pass several people on the hill. As we topped that section we moved into a slight uphill section through long meadow of long grass. While beautiful, I was starting to have trouble with my breathing. At first I thought it was because of my lack of training, but then as the nasty stitch in my side started to set in on mile 2 I realized that it was more directly related to my HORRIBLE diet the last week or so. I thought for sure that stitch would be my downfall. In the middle of 3 I was torn between having to stop to let it die down or just vomit. Neither one appealed to me, so I just kept pushing.

After cresting the summit at Big Springs you had to choose one of two options, left over a bridge or right through the stream. I don't think anyone even saw the trail to the bridge. The girl and guy in front of me must not be experienced trail runners because they were both tip-toeing through the stream at its shallowest point. I ran straight through the middle, passing the girl immediately and the guy shortly after.

Then we settled into the downhill. I know I am strong on the downhill, especially if it requires any technical running, which it did for the first mile. During this mile I even put a little distance between myself and four runners behind me. But within the last mile to the finish the trail smoothed out and the four of them flew by me. I thought I must be running around a 7:30 mile, but I looked down at my watch and saw 6:40. I was shocked. They must have all passed me at about 5:30 pace. Unreal.

We ended on the grass in the park, something I really don't like running on. Luckily, it was only for 100 yards or so. 5th in my age division and 26th overall. Not too shabby for the number of competitors and the fact that I haven't been training for sprint races. As usual, I didn't win anything in the raffle, but enjoyed the snacks and drinks. I made a few new friends and just really had a great time overall. I think these guys put on a fantastic race series and I plan to run all three next year.

Splits: 9:26, 9:56, 10:01 (all uphill), 6:47, 6:25 (.82)

Ave Pace - 8:36 min/mile

1 comment:

Enoch Davies said...

Look at those last 2 miles. That pace is crazy. Now just do that on the uphills and you will be winning these races. HA HA