I had no idea what pace to try to run. I ran the course in 2:22 three years ago but wasn't sure I would be able to run any faster this time. I started a new weight routine 7 weeks ago that has me doing squats 3 times per week, deadlifts once per week and my legs have felt like lead during my runs. I have not been running very fast since August 7th. This week, I lifted on Tuesday and then gave myself 3 days rest. My legs were still a bit sore for the race but energy level and legs were feeling pretty good and lead was gone. Weight was just over 160 lbs which is the highest I've raced at in a long time. I decided not to carry a water bottle. I figured since my weight was up so much and it wasn't that warm, I could just use the first aid station and I wouldn't need much nutrition since I am carrying some extra fat.
At the start we ran down the driveway and turned around which spread out the runners before entering the woods. Once we entered the woods, I eventually caught up to Whitney and another woman who then sped up. I could hear her behind me so kept pushing the pace so I wouldn't be passed back. I caught up to a guy just before the creek crossing at about 3.5 miles and easily passed him, but then he stayed close behind.
Once I reached the Devil's Ice Box parking lot at 6 miles, I took a gel and stopped to drink 2 small cups of water. As I was leaving the guy behind me came into the aid station. The course then goes over the road to the Gans Creek Nature Area for a loop of 8 miles. The park ranger informed me I was in 5th place as I crossed the road. I had to wait for 5 cars so was delayed a few seconds. The Gans Creek part of the course it the most difficult. For the first 6 miles, my pace averaged 8:03 per mile and each mile was between 7:56 and 8:13. Mile 7 was uphill so slowed down to 8:38. There were scouts at the boy scout camp and they asked if I was winning. I wasn't sure if they were kidding or if they had just woke up. I went a little crazy in mile 9 and ran 7:36, the fastest mile on the course.
I didn't see any other runners from mile 3.5 to the end, but managed keep pushing myself and felt really strong. There was water at 10.5 but since I had opted not to carry a bottle I kept running. I had carried 2 gels, but ended up only using the one at 6 miles. This part of the course had several good hills that slowed the pace. The last hill at mile 13 is short and steep and I usually don't run up this hill but ran part of the way, walked, and then ran the rest. Mile 14 which included the big hill was 9:39, my slowest of the race. I had to wait on a couple cars as I crossed the road. I could have gotten water about 1.5 miles from the end but skipped since I was so close. The next mile I ran in 8:13 but included part way up the hill towards the finish. Even though up a hill, I was able to sprint to the finish. Overall, the course ended up being 15.2 miles on my Garmin.
My finshing time was 2:07:30 (8:24 pace for 15.2 miles) which was about 15 minutes faster than I ran the 25K in 2009. The winning time was 1:48. I placed 5th overall of 36. I felt great and like I should continue running but did not since I had only planned 16 miles for the day.. Normally, I don't feel like eating right after a race, but I ate a couple pancakes and sausages. I ran the race on only 1 gel and a little water and felt fine.
Pre-race meal, was half protein shake, 1/2 tbsp peanut butter, a few chia seeds, coffee, and half banana - about 350 calories. I wore my Innov8 Roclite 295s and had no isssues with them. I did feel and slight twinge in my right calf at 14 miles, but it is just a little sore today and I was able to run 17 miles on the trail this morning. No race results yet but I think there were around 35 finishers for the 25K.
|Water bottle, socks, sticker, and block for finishing the 25K|