Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Hidden Valley Nature Center
Run Thru The Woods Part Deux

Rich and I ran together for a bit as we pulled a couple of folks back who had passed us earlier.  I was still feeling fairly comfortable with my pace so when a dude came screaming by somewhere around the 3 mile mark I decided to see if I could hang on.  I could tell the dude was serious because instead of running around the wet areas, he just plowed straight through, on a couple of occasions going in almost to his knees.  Yes, this was the guy I should pace off of.
We soon lost Rich and it was now Steve and I picking folks off.  Around the four (I think) mile mark, we passed my parents and my other brother who informed us that we were in 16th and 17th place out of 43 which was right about where I expected to be.

Steve and I ran together for several miles.  Sometime along the way I realized that I was still feeling a bit too comfortable and had been relentlessly chatting at Steve so sometime around the 6 mile mark I upped the pace on a long gradual climb dropping Steve and bringing a couple of other runners into sight.  Yes, the chase! 

making the move on Steve

Having a couple of carrots ahead really motivated me to kick it up.  I noticed that a lot of folks were walking the steeper hills so I used those areas to really close gaps ignoring the massive amounts of pain that I was in and the fact that I'd stop seeing clearly (maybe I should have brought some gu or at least HEED).  The pain and suffering paid off though because when I hit the 2.5 mile to go mark I had moved into 12th place and a small group just up ahead of me, including the three women who had passed me very early on in the race.

the worst hill was right at the 2.5 mile to go mark.  ouchie...

By the 9 mile mark I was running on pure determination and feeling very thankful for the long mountain bike races I've done in the past.  Another 30 minutes of misery can never compare to the hours of misery involved in a 12 hour race.

As I closed to within 100' of the group in front of me, the eventual woman's winner and one guy pulled away leaving me and two other women (Katie and Lauren) to duke it out til the end.  On one of the nasty steep climbs Lauren stopped to rest and take in a GU.  She was quickly out of sight so I FIGURED I had 12th place wrapped up which was good because no matter what I did, I couldn't seem to close the 50 foot gap to Katie.

 Katie is just ahead.

Eventually, I began to realize that I'd never close the gap and resigned myself to that 12th place.  That is, right up until I saw Lauren closing in.  Shit!  I was literally on fumes at this point but the last thing I wanted was to be passed in the last mile so I mustered whatever strength I had left and amazingly closed the gap to Katie.

on Katie's heels coming into the final stretch.
I ran on her heels for about a 1/2 mile until finally, mercifully, the finish line came into sight and I shamelessly pulled around Katie to kick her butt by a whole second.

my brother rus finishing his race about 2 minutes up

I was so shot that I barely made it out of the finish shoot without falling over.  You know you've pushed yourself to the limits when both legs are quivering uncontrollably as you try not to pass out.

Jello legs

final thoughts tomorrow.


Metro said...

Nice job dude. I've recently taken up running as a pre-new years resolution. Although I have yet to run anywhere except to the store for beer I think this is only going to be a good thing. Thanks for the inspiration.


rick is! said...

the more I trail run the more I like it. the more I run on the road the more I think that an early death wouldn't be such a bad thing.

I think I may throw a few more of these trail run races into the works for next year.

Alby King said...

Yick. Bless your soul for putting up with the tort.. running. I suppose it's like anything physical at first.

Word verification strikes again: "sucksper"