12 September 2010

Northwest Trail Runs–Soaring Eagle Park

Hours
Sleeping
5 Body
Weight
  Body
Fat
 
Pulse
(waking)
  Pulse
(rising)
  Difference  
Time
of Day
9:30 AM Distance 10 miles Power  
Time
(total)
1:19:14 Time
(moving)
  Time
(stopped)
 
Speed
(overall)
7:56 min/mile Speed
(moving)
  Speed
(max)
 
Total
Ascent
  Max
Elevation
  Gradient  
Breakfast 6:15 AM – cereal
Lunch  
Dinner  
Workout Food 1 gel 30 min before start, 1 gel 10 min before start, water
Injuries  
Therapy  
Workout Type  
Weather upper 50s, muggy, dry sky, damp ground, calm, mostly cloudy
Course Soaring Eagle Park
Results 10 mile
4th overall
official results
Equipment Inov-8 Roclite 295, Inov-8 socks
Clothing shorts, short sleeve active t

Yes! I am so excited about this result!

I got to the start a little early and so after checking in I sat in the car listening to music and pinned my number on. About 30 minutes prior to the start it started to drizzle but it stopped five minutes before we took off.

I did not warm up but did do some lunges and stretching as my left hip has been bothering me at the start of almost every run I do. This helped a lot and I was discomfort free at the start and the entire time.

Today I did something foolish in that I wore some new shoes AND socks without ever having tried them out before... I asked my running mentor what kind of trail shoes to get and he recommended these and they showed up two days ago (with a free pair of socks!) so I decided to give them a whirl. Wearing them in the house they felt SO comfy...

At the start there were maybe 40 people total. We had two options, a 5-mile loop and a 10-mile loop. I positioned myself near the front as we had to immediately hit a trail and I did not want to get bogged down. As we took off I think I entered the trail in about 10th or 12 spot.

I was right behind a woman (who ended up winning the women's 10-mile race) and saw a bunch of guys move ahead and figured oh well, I will just let them go. At the start lots of people looked really serious... There was this one buy who pulled up in some over-the-top 2-seater AMG Mercedes and had on the latest in high-tech running shorts, shoes and shirt, this kid (22 years old?) in fancy compression shorts and lots of people had fancy GPS watches on. There were also two guys that were talking about some race up in Whistler that sounded like an ultra so I was just fine with letting people run away from me.

The first .8 miles of trail was wide double track. And we had been told that we would run this same bit back to the finish. On the first descent the woman that I was behind picked it up and passed the guy in front of her so I followed suit. I thought I had seen a couple of guys take off in the lead and in front of us was another bunch so I was pretty happy with my position, and the pace – although faster than I would have done on my own – was doable so far.

ASIDE – in running races I tend to go out a bit too hard and then try to hang on. I was feeling like this was going to be more of the same... :)

About .5 miles later the woman took off her long sleeve shirt and I used this as an opportunity to pass her. Now there was a gap in front of me and then up the road a bit was that main pack of maybe six guys.

We hit the single track and I felt fine. The shoes were working out great! The pace was not killing me although I felt like I was breathing much louder than everyone else around me. :(

We got to another descent and the woman behind me passed me back. I just slotted in behind and since she did not push the pace was able to stick with her. By this time we had lost everyone behind me except for one guy in a fluorescent yellow shirt.

As we got to the first and only support stop at 4 miles I saw the first two guys from the lead bunch simply run on by and head into the woods. Two more people from the lead bunch turned around as they were only doing the 5 mile race. I stopped and gulped a bit of water and the headed out. The woman and Mr. fluorescent also stopped and suddenly I was alone.

But not for long. Soon I could see and hear the two guys in front of me so pushed the pace just a little and after about one mile I was right behind them again. Now we were three; the kid in the compression shorts, Mr. fancy car and me.

But wait, then I heard some guy coming up behind us and he was coming fast. It was fluorescent shirt man and so now we were four.

On a mild climb (the longest straight section of trail on the run) I had some trouble hanging with the two in front of me but we dropped crazy shirt so I dug to stay in contact and managed okay. On the flat sections I was able to recover some and I felt all right on the descents but the short climbs were hard as these guys did not chop their stride at all and really ran up the hills.

And then the shirt was back! This guy was nuts... that was twice he had been dropped good and proper and twice that he had come back with apparent ease. Really strange.

About seven miles in we got to a dog bone out-and-back section. We went down the longest and steepest hill in the race, around a loop in the wetlands and then back up the hill. I kept looking around for the two leaders that I thought were in front of us but never did see them. I assumed they had a sufficient gap to leave this loop before we entered it.

The climb up this hill was hard! This time the two guys in front of me did slow some but they almost shelled me. And we dropped Mr. shirt again.

And one mile later he was back! Argh... I was looking at the kid and I just knew he was going to kick at the end and my kick is non-existent. And if this guy who was doing intervals on the trail was able to reel us back in so easily, he was also going to leave me behind in that last .8 mile stretch. Oh well, I was really, really pleased with myself and running top-10 was quite a rush!

Finally we turned onto the double track and we had not gone 50 feet when the kid moved to the left and simply twisted the throttle. He was gone. Nice.

that was on a slight incline and money bags was also dropping me just a bit but when I looked back I was dropping shirt man so I tried to dig again and keep it up.
But, as the trail leveled of Mr. shirt pulled me back AGAIN and I was just not able to respond. Oh I tried, but there was just no extra speed left in my legs. Kind of a bummer as I did not feel shattered or anything, I just could not go any faster.

By the finish the kid was out of sight and shirt guy actually passed Mercedes man. Good for him! With about 200 m to go Mercedes man looked back to see where I was and coasted across the line. I tried to surge once again but it only lasted like 10 steps! :( Then I was right back to my regular old pace.

As I walked around the parking lot to cool down there was no one else around... Finally I asked the organizer who was recoding times how I did and he said 4th place! So it turns out I had been running with the leaders ever since I caught them after the water stop. How cool is that.

Not that I could have gone any faster had I know, but it sure was a nice pat on the back.

This trail is really fun. It's relatively flat (compared to Cougar Mt anyway) and really scenic. And it was marked super well, we were never in any doubt about where to go at intersections.

Northwest Trail Runs has another event coming up in November, I might see if I can do that one as well as this was a blast.

My shoes were really comfy but my feet slid to the front pretty easily on descents and after the run one nail on each foot was bruised just a little. :( I will try to lace them tighter next time as I think I have ample space.

My take-away from this my first trail race ever is that I need to work on my kick and I should not – jus like in cycling – get intimidated by other's equipment.

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