Sunday, December 7, 2008
Xterra Trail Run
Today was the Xterra trail run half marathon at Kualoa Ranch.
Sonya took 2nd in her age group for the 10K.
Carter and Jack were able to test their new running shoes in the kids' race.
I was nervous about the race, since my heel has been hurting the past few weeks. I haven't ran that much lately, just a couple of times since the Val Nolasco 1/2 marathon last month. I've only been on a trail twice the past couple months. Due to the nervousness, I was using the bathroom (woods) as the gun went off. That startled me, so I stopped what I was doing and quickly joined the race in progress. The first 3 miles were familiar to me...these were roads used during the 24-hour mountain bike race last year. I knew what to expect...lots of climbing. This was true for the entire race....try to find a flat spot somewhere on that graph. During these first few miles, I was running strong, passing lots of folks going up the hill...partially due to the fact that I started near the back of the pack. My pace for the first 6.5 miles was pretty good and I thought I could knock this run out in under 2 hours. Things quickly changed, as that's about the time the big climb started. Started up the big climb feeling strong. I saw a lot of people walking up the hill, with only 1 other person running. I jogged up the hill passing dozens of walkers, until I finally had to break down and walk near the top. I highlighted the moment on the graph where my fast race all fell apart....1:14:16 is where the grade picked up to 24%+ and I started walking the last few yards to the top. Got some water and Gatorade at the aid station, and started following walkers onto the single track. It was hard to get running there, as most folks were walking. Parts of it were runnable, others were muddy or too steep. Things started to suck worse as the single track started going down hill. The guy in front of me couldn't stand up and slid most of the way down. I fell once and got a rope burn to show for it. The single track lasted a couple of miles, then we hit some more road...all up and down hill, then back to single track that I was familiar with, as it was part of the mountain bike race last year. I was glad they threw that section in, as it was much more passable than the previous trail. The single track also had some of the best views on the course. After the singletrack, we passed back through the start area. I tried to find Sonya and the boys, but at 10 miles, my mind was dazed, my legs were jelly, it took a lot to not throw in the towel. The next 3.1 miles was a repeat of the first 3...1.5 miles up and 1.5 miles down. I did this section much slower than the first 3, and ended up walking parts of the climb. I trudged through the rest of the race, trying to finish strong. Ended up finishing in 2:21:42 according to the Garmin. A little slower according to the official results, since I was busy at the race start. That's substantially slower than the 2 road half marathons I ran this Fall, but I'm still happy with it. This race was hard.