Lets just say, things didn’t go quite as I had envisioned. You know, that’s racing for you. You game plan and train and game plan and train and then its all thrown out the window when the gun goes off. That’s the kinda day I had.
To start things off the race was scheduled to begin at 9am. So a warm up at 8:30 was good for me. Steve and I went on a short single track warm up to just get a taste of the trail ahead. We return to the race briefing at 8:45. We find Justin and we all chill and listen to the instructions. Then I hear the 10k will start 10 minutes after the half marathoners.
What? I gotta yell excuse me to 100’s of runners as I plead and beg for them to move out of the way? Damn and I just ate my GU and now its ingested 10 minutes too early? No big deal. I better go warm up again.
With warm up number 2 out of the way, I crawl up to the front of the line, wish Justin and Steve the best of luck and to have fun! A ten second countdown begins. 10, 9, 8, 7…and then the gun.
The start was way to fast for my liking. It’s a mad dash to the single track. The first few to enter the woods have the easiest time, less people to pass. I chilled for the first half mile. I fell pretty far behind. Somewhere around 12th place. The lead pack separated and I lost contact. I focused on the short uphills to pass runners. Mile 1 (7:23) Around mile 1.25 was the mother of all hills. It gains nearly 150 ft of elevation in about .15 miles. It’s a man maker. I recover and slowly work my way up towards the lead pack. I settle in behind the 2 leaders and cruise with them. Mile 2 (7:19) That’s when all hell happens. I got a hot spot festering on my left heel.
I settle back down and try to control my stride to help manage the pain. The leaders slowly begin to leave me behind. Then I get passed. So now I am 4th place and in PAIN and haven’t reached the half way point. I pull myself back within 15 seconds of the leaders. That’s as close as I got the rest of the race. Mile 3 (7:23)
Miles 4-5 are both relatively flat to down hill. There are a few short uphill bursts. My pace is struggling and so is my confidence. The lead pack is GONE! I am all alone only passing struggling 1/2 marathoners. I have fallen back to the 5th spot. Mile 4 (8:22) The pain in my left heel is unbearable and I have once considered walking. I push on and actually catch up to runners 3 and 4! A boost. Just what I needed. We hit all the switchbacks. I gain ground on every uphill. Pain is overtaking my left heel. I catch runner 4 but he burst down hill and out of sight. Mile 5 (8:50) I push on knowing the end is in sight. The last mile is nearly all uphill. Its grueling! I round the last bend in 5th place and happy to be finishing. And then swoosh, a runner out of nowhere is running like he’s being chased by hornets. I get passed meters from the finish and end up in 6th place.
I finished with a time of 46:09. Not bad considering. Steve and Justin finished the trail race. Both feeling the pains of the mountains. To do and finish a race like the Trail Nut 10k is an accomplishment all in its own. It’s a lesson learner, a man maker and a friendly bond. The 3 of us have a memory of a lifetime. WE DID THE 2010 TRAIL NUT 10k!
We packed our gear, headed back to the Lake House and drank a few cold ones…