Of course, the night before I got NO sleep. Got up super early to head down. Got there super early...before the race workers even. Finally got our bibs and chip. This is the first race I've done that had chip timing. The RD started giving us prerace info at about 7:15 and we took off shortly after that. We started first and the 25k, 10M, and 10k people started after us. We headed down the road and onto the trail for a series of 3 loops. The temps were a nice 67ish but the humidity was in the 70s. I was trying to keep a slower pace on the road and settled in nicely behind a group of three girls once we got onto the single track. My breathing was doing good too.
I was just moving along trying to find my groove listening to the girls gab. They were moving just a little slow but I thought it was good to hang with them for awhile as it was going to be a long day. The middle girl had on Hokas and I wanted to ask her about them because the trails at Rosaryville are a very nicely groomed hard packed dirt and was thinking my Hokas would probably do pretty well here. And not even 5miles in Hoka girl rolls an ankle and did a roll off to the side of the trail. We all stop briefly and she is okay so I keep moving along and as Im leaving I hear her say that that was her bad ankle too. Yeah, my Hokas will be staying on the road!
Oh shoot, now Im in the front. Time to set my own pace now I guess. A few miles later I hear someone hollar my name and it is my friend Traci who is running the 25k today (she was taking it easy after a string of ultras). We exchange a few words and off she goes into the distance! Next thing I know, another friend Rob catches me! He was running with a slower friend and decided to push on. Rob ran behind me and we chatted until the 10mile aid station. Then he moved on from me as well.
|Rob & I after the race!|
Onto loop two! In November this loop was really tough mentally for me. This time around it was physically tough. Stupid asthma! My legs were feeling great but my breathing was down right scary to anyone running near me. I just kept moving forward at a slow pace. I had several times where I figured I would drop after the second loop. I told myself that if my husband looped me that it would be okay to drop. That if I got to the 20mile AS and was in last place I would drop. I was really just looking for any excuse. No such luck! So I kept moving forward!
The third loop was the best. I was actually running with/leap frogging with several people. I know for sure I kept moving at a faster pace because of them! Even if that pace was, oh, 14mm! At 25mile AS I stopped for some soda, potatoes and banana for the road. I was trying to suck down my food fast so I could keep moving when the AS volunteer very seriously asked me if I was ok or if I needed anything. I sometimes forget how bad my breathing sounds until I am pointed it out by someone. I was breathing so aweful that I sound liked I had just been sprinting! Sorry dude, Im fine. Really I am! What a difference from the November race when at mile 25 the AS worker remarked about how great I looked! I got out of there quick, lol.
Kept running with the same group but more spread out now as we were all just ready to be done. Came around the one side of the trail where you could hear people at the finish but know I still had about 3 miles because we wind around the trail a bit more. Eventually I came out of the trail and onto the road for the last mile of uphill road to the finish! I walked some of the road just because it sucked. But once I saw the finish in the distance I picked the pace back up. Well that and I turned around to see two girls hot on my tail! Didnt want anyone to pass me at the finish!
I finished in 7:05 with Rik & Rob cheering me in. This was almost exactly 30mins slower then my November time. That is bittersweet. I really wanted to finish with a better time because I have so much more training in then I did back in November. But I also know how poorly I run in heat & humidity that 30 mins slower makes sense. AND we did three little out & back road sections which they did not include in the fall race...so extra mileage there. I do know that my legs felt much stronger this time around. And my recovery is easier. Both good signs! Now I just need to decide if I am ready for 50miles or continue to work on getting stronger in the 50k first! I know I should wait but I will be 40 this November and that 50M the week before my birthday just sounds so sweet...as long as I dont death march the last 20miles.....
Either way, Rosaryville is an awesome park with super awesome trails. I really just love it there. But...I've had enough of the loops until atleast next year!