I wasn’t entirely certain I was going to run this race. My legs were still sore and tired from my Wednesday night workout. I was also doubting my conditioning after my 7k the previous Saturday.
This race was near my place which meant I could sleep in but it also meant it was going to be hilly, REALLY, REALLY hilly.
It was perfect running conditions with overcast skies and mid to high 50’s at the start. The course was one big loop.
They had everyone line-up by pace. Anyone planning on running in the 6 minute or 7 minute range were told to start at the front. No one was really excited to admit their paces but reluctantly a few of us gathered towards the start.
I saw a speedy gal from my running group and figured she’d win (for reals she ran in the Olympic trials for the women’s marathon this year). I tried to look to see if there were any more women.
I saw one gal who I’ve seen running in the neighborhood (pretty fast) and thought maybe we’d run together. As I was still over analyzing the competition we got the final count down warning and then we were off.
I know this will surprise you all but I had no race plan. I did know I didn’t want to repeat my crash from the week before so I vowed to go out more conservatively. Making my conservative plan a bit easier was the really steep hill on mile one.
We dashed across the start line and not even 100 meters into the race I was being passed by everyone. I looked at my watch 6:25. Ugh! BE CONSERVATIVE!! Just let them pass you! And pass me they did.
We turned left then right and started up the hill. I quickly passed everyone back.
I was the second place woman but not for long. A gal in full length running pants, long sleeve shirt and earphones passed me. She looked like she was dressed for a warm-up, most of us were in short sleeves and shorts.
I passed her back briefly and then she passed me again. I told myself to stick to my plan and let her go.It was hard for me to do because she was breathing so much harder than me, but I had to run my own race.
Mile 1 was just under 7 minute mile pace (not bad with that nasty hill).
The next two miles weren’t bad pace wise (6:30 mids and 6:40) but I’d still expect my 8k to be faster. I also couldn’t help but wonder why I’d decided this race was a good idea and wondered if I’d make it to the finish line.
Before I knew though I was past the 3 mile marker and I knew the next miles was downhill. At one point I was under 6:00 minute mile pace but finished it in the lower 6s.
I passed a guy and gained on the second place woman. I spent the whole mile trying to decide if I was going to try to catch her. But if I was really honest with myself I’d been trying to catch her the entire time.
A mile to go and I figured I’d give it a push but I just couldn’t close the gap. We made it to under 800m and I was getting comfortable with the idea of third place.
There was a very, very (did I mention very?) slight uphill and all of a sudden I was within striking distance. How did that happen? How badly do I want 2nd? How much is this going to hurt? Why am I SO competitive?
We rounded the corner and she could tell I was there, I think I actually startled her because she ended-up running on the inside of the cones for the last turn instead of the outside.
I took the outside and it felt like the final turn in and 800m. If I had any kick I’d better hurry up and find it. I knew she’d started behind me so if I really wanted to second I’d have to find another gear.
Gear found. I crossed the line 3 seconds ahead of her. She probably thinks I was crazy for kicking so hard at the end.
We talked and the end and she was super nice. I wished we’d been able to work together during the race (next time!).
We talked to the first place gal from my group. Her pace was 30 seconds faster than mine, now that’s fast!
I ran a nice cool down and was happy my legs actually felt good. I was even more happy to put the previous week’s race behind me. I really didn’t think I’d run in the 6:30’s on this course, so maybe I’m in better shape than I thought.
Even though this was a hilly course I loved it and plan on running it again next year.
Two races in just over a week. Time for a week off (of racing that is… not running).
Anyone prefer courses with hills over flat courses? Maybe it’s just me…
run pretty run fast.
|Avg Pace:||6:33 min/mi|
|Avg Moving Pace:||6:31 min/mi|
|Best Pace:||4:55 min/mi|
|Elevation Gain:||187 ft|
|Elevation Loss:||195 ft|