Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fall Series #4 - Race Report

The day started as most of the Fall Series Sunday's do. I got up around 7am, had my standard pre-race breakfast (oatmeal, peanut butter, and a banana) and got a few chores done around the house. The only difference today is that it was about 20 degrees outside when I woke up, highs would maybe hit 40. Just a little cooler than the 60-70s we had been racing in. Just before 10:30 I left the house and headed towards Palmer Park. This park is situated in the middle of town and encompasses a few nice bluffs. Lots of trees and rocks and views (if you can take your eyes off the trail).

Garmin data here.

On the way to the race I drank a bottle of Blueberry-Pomegranate Generation UCAN. This race was supposed to be about 7 miles long so not too long that I would need anything more than water, but I wanted to make sure I was well fueled heading in. And it tastes good.

Registration and warm-up was the same as usual, except I was wearing a few extra layers. About 8 minutes before the start, I stripped off my extra layers and headed to the starting line. I found Kelly. She usually finishes a minute or so before me, so I figured if I could keep her in sight, I'd be doing OK.

See the top of the bluff? We went up there.

The gun went off and the group headed on a gravel road and then turned on to a paved road. We went up. 166 feet in that first mile. Once we were up we turned on the the trail and the fun begins. Ups and downs. Steep ups and steep downs. Rocky ups, rocky downs. Relentless.

Needless to say I warmed up quickly! I took my gloves off around the half-way point and could have gone without my ear warmers. Every so often I would look ahead and for the first 2/3 of the race I could see Kelly just slightly ahead.

Showing some love for Punk Rock Racing
My legs felt good but some of those steep hills were brutal. The entire course had over 900 feet of elevation gain - mile 3 had 250 of it! I wanted to look around and enjoy the views, as you can see a lot from up where we were, but it wasn't smart to take your eyes off the trail for much more than a millisecond. You never know when a rock or a root or a branch would jump out in front of you.

Finally, at about 6 miles we could see the road and the section of the park we started at. By this point I was hanging on as my legs were trashed from the ups and downs. I knew Kelly was a ways ahead now, probably no chance in keeping up! Once we cleared the trails and were back on the grassy field, they threw a few bales of hay in front of us to climb/jump/crawl over. It's always something! But I will say for this race there was no creek!

Bales of hay found in the middle of a trail. Normally unusual, but not in a fall series race!

I headed in strong to the finish line and tried to kick it in. I have no finishing kick so I can easily get out sprinted if someone decides to turn it on. So I just run hard.

That's not a smile, that's a grimace.
Glad to be done with another great fall series race! Turns out I ended up in 2nd place overall in my age group for the series. Not too shabby! More pics, video and results. Now time for an easy week of some strength training and swimming before I head down to Arizona to be a spectathlete at Ironman Arizona next weekend (and of course to sign up for IMAZ 2011!)


Christi said...

Great job on the series! I hope you have a great time in Arizona!

Nicole said...

Thanks Christi! I'm really looking forward to the AZ trip! :)