Saturday, April 27, 2013

Race Report: BYB Laurel Hill

Ok, this is going to be a fairly short race report, as I am about a week late in writing it.

To me, an interesting thing about this race was that it is new to the spring trail race series and I hadn't run it or had the opportunity to preview the course at all. I have biked there, but just a couple of times and wasn't sure which trails were going to be in the race. I was surprised about how nervous this made me- I am so used to feeling like I know these Backyard Burn courses that I was a little shaken up by the unfamiliar.

It was another beautiful morning for a race, I was just a bit chilly in 3/4 tights and a t-shirt. Some of my Ignite Endurance teammates were out and we had our team shirts on - they were all running the 10 miler so I was clearly the lazy one of the bunch.

I started out hard and tried desperately to keep it there. A few moments stand out on the day:
(1) stepping on a rock wrong about 2 miles in and tweaking my left ankle again, when I thought it was better, and possibly cursing, possibly loudly-might have to take a couple of weeks off running after Kinetic in mid-May to let this thing heal all the way-not looking forward to that;
(2) getting passed (again!) by the same women who has finished in front of me in the overall standings at all of the past three races-I think I beat her at Hemlock so maybe the hills at Fountainhead will be too my advantage too;
(3) a fairly long downhill stretch of pavement around the 3rd mile where I was trying to simultaneously push the speed and recover my breathing - I think if I could master that, it would be a terrific advantage.

Anyway, it was a good day. I got my fourth 2nd place age group for the series, but am in the lead for the series since the woman who has won three of the races missed the last one. I am trying not to think of it too much, but a second in age group at Fountainhead would maintain that lead regardless of what anyone else posts on the day. But, like all races, Fountainhead will present what it will present and I can't will myself into second, I can only run myself there. So, that's the goal.

One more week in the series.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

BYB Prince William Forest Park Race Report

BYB # 3

The Highlights:
(1) Ow
(2) After entering the single track (where I was already behind a few of the fast 10 miler women) I got passed by 4 women: 1 at the base of the ascending fire road, going so light and quick - she finished about 3 minutes in front of me, 2 near the bottom of the descending fire road, about .5 mile before you go back to single track - 1 went on to the 10 mile course and the other took second overall, and, heartbreakingly, 1 about .2 miles from the finish, who went on to snag the last place on the OA podium and win our age group 10 seconds in front of me. And who said, "The finish is right up here around the corner, right?" as she went by. Frustrating!
(3) Relearned that lesson about not taking a Gu 12 minutes before starting a race that is going to begin at a breakneck pace down a hill. I cannot digest Gu at 5:40 pace. Actually, I am not sure if I ever learned that exact lesson before, but I should have known better.

Longer Version:
I was going to write  a longer version, but now I am a week after the race and I haven't written it yet, so I better just cut my losses and publish. Basically the thing I was going to add was how strangely nervous I was going into this one. I try to prepare myself by visualizing in the nights before the race, particularly as I know these courses quite well, but the knowledge of how hard the first .5 mile of this course is--and how my race strategy was going to make it very very painful--kind of freaked me out. I am thinking I was probably better off for having done it anyway, but it did make me kind of dread the start of race morning.

Also, about the guy on the ascending fireroad who passed me as I started to fade around mile 2 and urged me on: "Stay with me! Stay with me!" Not sure why he felt the need to encourage me, but it worked. I can imagine it could have come off badly depending on the state of mind of the person receiving, and I don't know why he chose to cheer me on, but I was grateful.

It was a really fun race, though, even if it could have ended better. Another perfect morning for a race. And the kids both napped 3 hours in the afternoon when we got home. Amazing!