The stats: 10.4 miles, 2:21, 13:34 pace, 1300 feet of elevation change
The outfit: Saucony Speed of Lite short, Saucony Speed of Lite tank, Moving Comfort Phoebe sports bra, Injinji socks, Saucony Peregrine shoes
14/32 in age group
36/93 in female division
Well, that's done. It was hard, and I was not in shape to do well. But I did it -- and loved it.
Honestly I loved it more before I saw where I finished overall, but that's my own issue. How I finished in my gender and age groups makes me feel better :)
But let's backtrack. Thursday/Friday, I carbed up a bit and definitely focused on staying hydrated. The high for Saturday was forecasted for the upper 80s, and the race didn't start until 9:30 am. Lots of water and Nuun, and I bought a Gatorade that I started on Friday and finished Saturday morning on the way to the race.
I also bought a new handheld water bottle, and 18-ounce, insulated one from Nathan. A bigger version of what I currently use (and like). But it wouldn't stop leaking! I don't know if it was me or the bottle. I need to have Aaron look at it. In any case, the guy who drove us down to Salt Fork had some disposable waters in the truck, so I took one of those.
I got up around 6 to give myself plenty of time to get ready and get to my friend's house by 7. Salt Fork is about 90 minutes from Akron, and since we all had to pick up our packets and stuff, we wanted to have plenty of time. It worked out. Easy trip down, and we arrived with plenty of time to get our stuff and get ready to run.
We were a group of four, but the guy with us is pretty fast so he lined up at the front. The three girls lined up toward the back. It's a small, non-chip-timed race so we weren't really all that far from the back. And we took off. I stuck with the other girls for the first couple of miles, but with the single-track and hills and lots of walkers, I lost them early on (around mile 2 maybe). I remember when it was: There were two paths up a hill, and I went one way, they went the other and then there were, like, six people in between us.
That's okay - I knew the one girl was way faster than I, so I was going to lose her eventually anyway. She finished in 2:05 so her pace was about 1:30 per mile faster than mine. She FLEW on the second half of the course, though. Impressive.
I trucked along, taking it easy. I knew I wasn't in great shape, so I didn't want to wear myself out. I am not very good at passing people, especially on single-track where you have to be aggressive. I don't know how much quicker I would have been (I finished in 2:21 at a 13:30 pace) if I had passed more aggressively though. I may have just tired myself out more.
I was feeling pretty good until around 8.5, and the hills finally got to me. I was trying to run as much as possible, but my pace slowed considerably. And the last 1 to 1.5 miles were mostly uphill, so that was rough. We finished running across a parking lot, and I had nothing left. Nothing. I finished at an embarrassingly slow pace.