Husband was out of town and my twin sister recently moved back so we were able to have a girls night up there before the race.
The weather had threatened rain and it rained on the way up. Thankfully we had a beautiful morning sitting in a field waiting for the start.
The rain started around mile 6-7 but I was relieved to at least have had that first almost hour dry. Starting in the cold rain would have been a little demoralizing for me. Up to mile 9 or so I was on track for a 3:00 finish. It felt hard but not too hard. I had been debating stopping in a port o potty since unfortunately I wasn't able to get things moving before the race as is typical for me (I wonder if the gluten free bread I ate instead of the regular wheat bread I eat hampered my typical GI motility). Anyway, decided to stop, was somewhat productive, took advantage of the quick down time to grab some pills and get my iPod going. No more then 90 second stop but upon arriving at mile 13 I was on track for 3:05 now. Little bummed that stop resulted in that but it was what it was.
It was raining hard now and we were all totally soaked. Didn't bother me too much though. Running on the west side of the lake I felt some pain/tension on the outside of my left knee. Worried me some but not too much. Around mile 17 I took 2 ibuprofen and electrolytes knew it would be my last pill grab. My fingers weren't real useful anymore from how cold and wet it was. I was on track for around 3:05-3:10 now, can't remember, think it was 3:05 still. Had 7 miles left and half of them would be significantly downhill, the rest flat. I was confident I could hold on for a 3:05 finish.
Shortly after starting down the canyon I got cold. Super cold. About a mile down from the dam I turned to the guy in back of me and asked if he felt that sudden drop in temperature. He had. I was a little concerned for myself now feeling so cold. I don't always handle cold and wet well. My legs felt a little numb but I tried to keep them moving quick.
With about 4 miles to go, my ankles were numb from the cold. Yes, my ankles. Which resulted in me having no real control over my feet flexion or extension wise. My feet just landed under me where ever and however that was. I was so nervous about uneven surfaces and the idea that I would roll an ankle for sure if I stepped off camber even a little. Did my best to steer around that while at the same time pushing hard. I was running my hardest with 4 miles to go and pushed that all the way through the finish all the while trying to do the math in my head. It was going to be close, sneaking under 3:10, and I really wanted to considering I'd been on track for 3 and 3:05. And who doesn't want to PR? I was pretty nervous getting close to the clock to see what it said. And thankfully by the skin of my teeth, I ran a 3:09! Also secured my other goal of top 10 women with a 10th place finish in a year that turned out much deeper than past years.
Drives me crazy, but the athlete I am was happy with it, but still a little bummed I didn't finish faster. For the amount of speedwork I put in and the kind of day it was, I really am happy for the time though.
Special thanks to my sister who wrangled my 4 kids and her baby around the finish to see me for a split second, in the pouring rain. I go to races solo a lot the last few years so it's always fun to have support there. I was freezing and chattered hard for several hours, but never did feel badly after the finish, that's always nice. I felt like death after my 3:10 Dec 2013.
I learned a few things from this race. First, I would like to try for sub 3. As close as I got, it certainly doesn't sound super easily attainable, but I think I could. I would need to train more, I would need a near flawless race, surely no pit stops could happen.
Second, I learned that a smaller, basic sports bra (fabric wise, not size) over a preferred running sports bra, makes a nice storage space! Was nice for once to not have a pack of any kind with me. I kept my small pill bags in there. And my extra iPod cord since I hate it flapping around. I could also keep the small 5oz hand flask I brought in there if need be.
Third, and most importantly, I learned that I can push. I can do hard for a long time. I love the conservative first half approach to racing, feels better and seems easier, but to go really fast, particularly in shorter races (yes I just called a marathon short) I don't think you can do that. I at least, don't think I could have run a 1:40 first half then a 1:30 second half. And that's for a 3:10, 1:40 and 1:20 for a 3:00. Not likely. Fatigue happened, but not excessively. I'm pretty happy to have run a 1:32 or so first half and a 1:37 second half. Yeah I would have liked to have dropped some time off that down canyon stuff and not have taken the 90 second potty stop, but I ran hard pretty much from the get go, and held it. A pace that was hard in 4 mile tempo training runs, I held for most of the race. I can run fast and hold it for a long time. I don't need to be afraid. I will hold onto that and use it in my future racing both on and off road.
Ran in the Altra Impulse and really liked it! Firmer feel (which to me felt fast), super comfy (and cute) upper, drained great, no squishy shoes like I heard all around me. Perfect choice for this race.
Vfuel gel which worked great as usual, no problems. No massive GI upset like my last time at Ogden in 2009 using another brand.