Here is my race report for the 9.5 mile trail run I did on Sunday April 17, 2011. The race went fairly well. I had set a goal time of 1:30 for myself. This was the first time I have ever run this race, so I was not sure what to expect.
Pre-race: Woke up after having a great sleep, drank some Gatorade and tried to figure out what I was going to wear. It was 44 degrees when I woke up but I knew the forecast called for it to be in the 70s later that afternoon. I hate to be cold, so I went with tights and a t shirt. Hindsight later let me know that this was too much. It was not so much that I got to hot in these clothes, but it not what I have normally been running in, so I should have went with shorts. I do not really think it affected the outcome of my race at all. Another snafu was that I never really ate anything that morning. In my morning workouts, it is not unusual for me not to eat beforehand, but at this distance, I think I would be wise to get some nutrition in me before I race.
Event warm-up: Got to the race site, got my chip and walked around, occasionally talking to racers. This was a much different crowd than I see at normal races, so I really did not know anyone. The crowd was an older crowd than I expected, not the ones I normally see at the triathlons I have attended in the area, but then again I have not ran many "run" races only, so it is possible I was the one out of the norm!
The Run: I had really planned on taking this run easy and using it as a long training run, but I wanted to finish under my goal time of 90 minutes. I purposely moved to the back of the pack when the siren sounded. I was focused on keeping a steady pace, instead of trying to do it as fast as I could. So when it started, I really had to talk to myself and remind myself to go slow. I got into a comfortable pace and was doing well until I had the bright idea to avoid the bottleneck and jump across a creek to the other bank. It was not graceful at all and felt like I jammed my right ankle when I landed. The ankle only bothered me for a little while and I soon got over it. We hit the 3 mile mark of the trail and my GPS said 24 minutes and I knew I was going way to fast. I knew there was no way for me to maintain this pace on trails for another 6 miles, however; I know this was not my plan, but I decided I would run at whatever pace I felt was comfortable. So I pretty much tried to set it on cruise control. The front pack broke away from me and I felt like I was setting the pace for the second group a majority of the run, which was cool. Not much to report on for the next couple of miles except for when the dude behind me bit it pretty hard. It sounded like it hurt, but we all kind of stopped to make sure he was ok.
My Garmin display had somehow been changed so in the section that I normally have total distance, it somehow got changed to total calories, so that really threw me off. I thought the satellites were having trouble connecting through the trees, so I pretty much discounted the use of it and kept my eyes on the path ahead of me. My fancy GPS became a fancy time clock. In a way, it might have been good for me because I had no idea about the distance I had traveled until I came across a marker on the trail.
At about mile 7, my left groin started flaring up a bit and was painful going up and down the hills, I was fine on the flat parts of the course, so I ran when I could and walked when I had too. Only issue I had was that the drink stations were setup at miles 2 and 7, which seemed like odd places for me. I do not need water at mile 2 and by mile 7 it was too late. At 7, I did take an E-gel and wash it down with some water. I actually stopped in order to do this, wish I hadn't, because I would have been under my time goal of 1:30 if I'd kept moving!
The race ended with us running down a levy by the lake to the finish line. The sponsor of the race had it streaming on the internet that you could watch live. I am providing the web address for you to go watch me finish the race. You need to fast forward to the 1:09 point of the video to see me.You can watch me finish the race by clicking on theUstream video I am glad they don't show anymore than me crossing the finish line because I was hurting. This race was tough. I am not a trail runner and I battled cramps the rest of the day.
I did finish in 1:30:03! I was pleased and I accomplished what I wanted to out of this race. If you had asked me on Sunday if I would consider doing this race again, I probably would have said No way, but having a day to recover from it, I am actually looking forward to next years race!
For some reason, the link is not highlighting in the above paragraph, click here to go to the video of me finishing.