Saturday morning was beautiful. It was sunny and the high 30s at race time. There was a slight breeze. I was fretting over my clothing choices because I was chilly getting ready. I had to remind myself to dress for the run and not the standing around pre-race. We got to the park and picked up packets. It was early enough that I went back to the car for a few minutes to relax. It finally got close enough and I head out for a short warm up. I had a GU with me, but decided to save it until mid run. About 15 minutes before start I finally dragged myself out into the cold. A final restroom stop and time to warm up. We ran a short loop around the streets near the ball field and headed to the line. After the national anthem, I moved to the front of pack and tossed my jacket to the sidelines. We got a whistle and were off.
|I still feel odd when I move to the front -- like an imposter.|
I stayed with the lead group for about half a mile. I was trying to pace with them, but realized it was something I couldn't sustain -- I needed to run my own race. Around about that time, Ryan passed me. With his long stride I wasn't surprised. We hit the trail a little less than a mile in and started going up, up, up. From last year I remember how much energy I expended trying to run this first one. I switched to a quick walk and focused on turnover. I was able to pass two of the ladies who had passed me on the pavement, as well as Ryan. At a mile and a half we finally hit the top of the bluff. I began running again and the trail began its descent. I kept my eyes on the trail and moved as quickly as I could without tripping over my own feet. I finally reached the bottom and the flat section of the race. Ryan passed me again, as did some girl who came out of nowhere and made me feel like I was standing still! I saw the three mile mark and knew I was halfway. I was mentally preparing myself for the climb that was yet to come. I came out into the opening and got passed by another woman. She had been in the lead group with me at the start and I had passed her on the first climb. I grabbed a cup of water and began the uphill.
|The beauty of trail running...amazing scenery.|