Sunday, December 03, 2006
What comes up most come down. That pretty much goes for gravity and for hills, and it's where my story starts. It's Sunday afternoon. This morning I hit the snooze only once to wake up at the crack of dawn, 5:15am. I check the weather... 37 degrees, 10 mile winds, feels like 30 degrees. Great - What to do now? I get my pre-configured wardrobe on, which included running gloves a dry-fit beanie (new purchases!), along with a long sleeve technical t-shirt and vest, with some short shorts to match.
We make it to the race. I run feverishly to the bathroom, to only discover that I left my race chip at home. Quickly I run back out to the car to find Caitlin and ask her to run back to the house and get my chip... I can't run the race without one. Alas, I did find out they had additional chips, but I'm not sure how that would have registered with my name, ect... Anyway, I bought one for the series and needed it. Without a doubt, Caitlin zips to the house and back in under twenty minutes with my champion chip in tote.
We're off! It's cold... The first 4 miles we're nothing but wind, cold, brisk, bone-chilling wind. I was glad I had worn the right clothes.
The hills gradually start. My pace slows a bit as I try to adjust for the conditions. Should I push it, should I?? That's what keeps popping in my head as I feverishly check my watch.
Somewhere around mile 5 I realize the wind is now at my side, we've changed directions. I take a GU (new espresso flavor with 2X the caffeine). A smile breaks on my face. I'm past the 5K mark. My body feels good, my pace increases.
Mile 7 - the dirt road. I wish I had a camera. The sight was incredible - the road, dark and muddy brown, looked like something from a war film, but instead of soldiers in combat, I see a mile worth of runners - from the top of the hill approaching the valley where the sun is still rising to the peak nearly 3/4 of a mile away. Again, I smile and think, wow this is what the training is all about.
Miles 8-10. We hit the hill. This is the big one. Not like motive (over a mile), but steep nonetheless and not alone in the otherwise described hilly course that is Decker. I get into crunch mode, laying low using my arms to thrust my body up this pavement giant. We reach the top. I exchange a 'we're almost there' to a fellow runner, and he smiles back. We've made it. I hit another water stop and head for the final push.
To the finish...
2 miles and change to go. I'm almost there. I take another GU and I'm off.
With less than a mile to go I see Shawn, my coach and Jessie, his girlfriend. It's exactly the motivation I need to finish strong. I head to the final stretch only to hit another wall of wind whipping at my head... I snake around the final turn and see the finish line in less than 1/2 mile ahead. I stop thinking and start moving. Fast, very fast. Uncontrollably fast. I finish. Tired, cold, and very happy.
5K time: 24:37.3, pace: 7:56/M
10K time: 49:57.7, pace: 8:14/M
15K time: 1:13:43.3, pace: 8:03/M
20K time (finish): 1:37:53.4, 7:59/M
Hope you enjoyed the report! I wrote a bit more than usual, but it's race's like this that make the Distance Challenge so rewarding. Distance challenge #4 - DONE!!!!!!!!!!!
ARA 20-miler to follow on Jan. 7th. 2007 here I run.