Tuesday: am - 6mi / 45min - Ran to school, at school, and xc practice - did striders
pm - 8mi* / 46:34 in Pisgah w/Griffin. New record for my 8 miler! Felt smooth and relaxed, worked the last 3 miles. Feel confident and fit right now.
Wednesday: 1mi / 8 min. + strides. Ran at school w/kids. Played football w/kids.
Thursday: am - 5mi /39min - xc team
pm - 8mi / 51min in Pisgah w/Griffin. (r) piriformis extremely sore. Oh well, I've delt with this before. Tweaked it playing soccer at school.
Friday: 10mi / 67min in Pisgah w/Boj and Griffin. O.K. run. (r) piriformis sore and legs tired but the weather was beautiful.
Saturday: 0mi - felt sick today. Watched Josh win another xc meet. It was an awesome race.
Sunday: 13mi* / 1:23 - Monroe 10.5mi trail race - 1:15:34 -1st.
I was really hoping to break the course record which is 1:14:16, set by Kent Lemme back in 2008. We had a great battle that year, but he beat me in the end by about 19 seconds.
I felt going into this that I could definitely run 1:13. This is a very tough course with 5 miles of steady climbing, followed by 5.5 miles of technical ankle breaking downhill with a few flats mixed in. Oh yeah, there are also two, shin deep stream crossings just to add to the fun. The weather was perfect and the course was dry and in great shape. I went out fairly hard with Ross Krause with Brian Rusiecki and Chris Hayhurst trailing us a little back. Climbing the first very steep switch back section, I went off trail because of all the leaves that were down. Ross pointed me the right way, and he took the lead. Brian and Chris caught back up to us. Ross set a very good pace up the steep climb and we quickly pulled away from those two. I have to admit I was a little surprised at how fit Ross was. I haven't seen him this strong, ever. When we topped out on the really steep stuff, the trail opens up on some double track that's all uphill but very runable. I retook the lead and Ross stuck right with me. We turned left onto the fire road and I kicked the pace up a notch, again Ross handled that well and stayed with me. We turned at the first aid station, not taking any fuel, and continued to climb up some good single track to the top of the small mountain. The trail steadily climbs on this section with some runable ups mixed with some pretty steep stuff. After about 37 minutes into the race, most of which was climbing, I finally pulled away from Ross. I hit the top, around 41 minutes, I can't remember exactly and I have no idea where this ranks with me in past years, but it felt like the best I've ever climbed on this course.
Hitting the downhill is where I really excel on this course. Not to sound cocky, but I figured that if I got to the top in sight of the leaders, even if I was behind, I would still win the race because of my downhilling ability. I let it fly. I was really hammering and just having a blast doing it. At one point on a not very technical section, I lost my focus and rolled my right ankle and went sliding 15 feet on my stomach. I got up limping, but was able to slowly run on. After about 30 seconds I was able to run fast again, though I may have been a bit more cautious. I was still thinking course record. At some point after the first stream crossing I got off course. I followed old pink ribbons off the trail and up an old stream bed. This eventually came to a road and I knew this wasn't the course. I let out a swear or two and then turned around. I eventually got back on track and lost around a minute, maybe even more. Getting close to the finish, I knew I wasn't gonna break the record. I lost too much time and the record is pretty damn fast! I ran hard and crossed the line in 1:15:34, not too shabby.
I enjoyed a coke and chili as I watched the rest of the top guys come in. Ross said that Chris had passed him, but he got lost. A lot of finishers said they took wrong turns and quite a few did the same thing I did(following the old pink ribbons to the road). Jen finished in 1:58. I was worried she was gonna get lost out there, but she kept on course. She looked pretty worked after the race. It is one tough course, but a lot of fun. It's also in an absolutely beautiful spot and the post race grub was good. Jen and I enjoyed doing meatball grinder belches the whole car ride home. It was a great day, and I'll be back next year.
Total: 51mi - Not a great week, basically had 3 days off. Next week is Baystate. Keep it cool and easy.