So the last race I ran (not counting Hood to Coast) was in March 2011 and I won it. It was a 21k and it was the first race I’d won since winning a 1500m B section race in college. Two days later, I sprained my joint capsule in my foot and it was bye-bye to running for several months.
Saturday (4-7) was my first solo race since the injury. I’m not certain of my conditioning right now so I tried to find a small run to test things out. Plus my workout plan called for a 4 mile time trial (whatever that means).
I found a race in Maple Valley Washington called 4k-7k on 4-7. Why not? It was on a trail (not ideal for time trials) but according to the two pictures on the website the trail was pretty flat.
For some reason I thought Maple Valley was a lot closer to where I lived than it was (I also thought it was in an entirely different direction… oops).
It was a sunny morning and the 9:30 start time meant I could sleep in a bit. The trail was easy to find and everyone was super friendly. I picked up my number and set out for a warm-up.
The trail seemed up hill to flat so the second half of the out and back should have been nice… yes it should have been.
I had no race plan. I was just going to see what happened. I knew I wanted to be conservative. So the started yelled start and 60 or so of us took off.
The first mile I was with people. I ran a 6:37 and was feeling pretty good and I couldn’t tell there was an uphill.
I ran with a guy for the first mile but he slowed down. There was a another guy not too far ahead so I tried to catch-up.
The second mile felt pretty good. I caught the guy ahead of me and passed him. I ran 6:30 and was still feeling pretty relaxed.
The trail got shady and flattened out a bit. We reached the turn around and headed back. And that’s when things fell apart.
Okay I’m being dramatic, things didn’t fall apart that badly. I’d felt awesome for the first 2 and a quarter but right when I turned around that feeling went away.
My legs were tired, I was breathing hard and I was all by myself. The floating feeling I had during the first part of the run floated away.
I struggled through mile 3 in a 6:42. I was happy to start mile 4 because it was supposed to be downhill and it most likely was, but my legs and lungs couldn’t tell.
At one point my watch had me at 7 minute mile pace so I just stopped looking at it. Mile 4 was a 6:48. My last 400m was in 6:12 pace but it was a much steeper downhill.
I crossed the line as the first woman and 5th person overall. My watch had me in 26:40 averaging 6:38s. My official results had me averaging 6:40s.
I was happy with the win but a bit disappointed in the time. I’d run a 4.5 mile tempo run in 6:38s a few weeks earlier.
At the end of the day I’m still a happy camper. I really liked this course and the people who put it on were fantastic. I plan on running it again next year.
run pretty run fast