Race number 2 is in the books. In stark contrast from last week's warm weather, it was only 39* at the start. Cold for us coastal Virginians. The course was muddy in spots and the hills were steep to say the least. The route had us looping around and up the hills of Mt. Trashmore twice. I was really not prepared for those hills and tried to make up time on the flats as best as I could.
The first part of the race was flat and I tried to settle into a quick pace as I knew I would be slowing down once I hit the first hill. After that hill, which was short and steep, I felt like I had 10# sandbags on each ankle and was in desperate need of an oxygen tank. Unfortunately for me, it was nothing in comparison to the second hill that is so steep it has steps for people to climb. I swear it is a 90% grade. Mountain goats have trouble getting up it.
|I passed these two on the first lap. They are agile, but not fast.|
The third hill is long and gradual with a small bump in the middle, which only served to fake me out (twice), because at the end of the 3rd hill there is a quick steep downhill that I was really looking forward to. That hiccup in the middle had me thinking my reprieve was only steps away, which only served to crush my spirit once I realized it wasn't. :/ Somehow, I managed to go on. During the second loop, the oxygen deprivation was really doing a number on me. I was so zoned out I missed the turn to head up the really steep hill with stairs again. Or maybe it was my body's way of telling me that I really didn't need to go up that fricken mountain again?!?! Anyway, I realized my mistake quickly and made it up the Mountain, but not before a teenager galloped past me like a gazelle.
After a little more running and questioning myself as to why I inflict such pain on myself, I finally made it to the very top of Mt. Trashmore and pretty much the end of the course. All that was left was to cruise down the hill and through the finish line. There were three men in front of me, including that 15 yo (to be exact). I picked him off first. He might be able to beat me up the hills, but I was going to beat him down. I trotted down that hill with big galloping steps picking off a 37 year old next. Did I mention I am 38? Then at the start of the finishers shoot I caught up to another guy, who didn't like that I was about to pass him and we sprinted it out. I did end up beating him and could hear him giving me props (thank you, btw). I wish I could run that fast an entire race. I did the same thing last week. I am starting to think I need to find some 40 yard dashes to compete in. The pain would only last a few seconds, rather than 30 minutes.
I ended up finishing in 30:30 for an 8:11 pace. I really thought it was slower than that, but I am very happy with my end time, even though my pacing was all over the place and I walked twice at the top of the hills.
2nd out of 11 in 35-39 age group
9th out of 50 female finishers
41st out of 159 racers overall