Saturday, July 6, 2013

One Month - 3 Races = One Rollercoaster

Full disclosure: I had not realized my last blog entry was in May! Totally thought I wrote something in June. Oops.

June was a rather busy month putting in the training miles and managing three races of varying distances in there. Coming off of the 50 miler at Sulphur Springs, a mere two weeks later, I hopping in a 10K trail run. It would been a bit crazier if it was a 5K. However, the 10K is in the park I do a lot of trail running in. I've not run it in the past but this year I felt compelled. Maybe it was a bit of peer pressure. Haha. Well, the Wissahickon Trail Classic took place on June 8th and despite my best effort, I ended up finishing second almost a minute behind first place. Upon the 1st climb of the day a little over a 1/2 mile into the race, I knew I was going to have a rough go. My legs had yet to shake off all the fatigue after the 50 mile and it hurt me in the 10K. At one point in the race, I was in 6th place. However, in the back half of the race, I did manage to make up places and time. You could say I just ran out of real estate. I should note that my loss at Wissahickon was the 1st time in a year I lost a trail race.

A mere two weeks after that race, I toed the line for a trail marathon. It was the XTERRA Big Elk Marathon. The course was a double half marathon loop. As the race got closer, the temps in the area started to climb. With an 8am start, I was expecting heat and got it. Heat for me is bad as I do suffer in it, especially in hard efforts over long distances. But then again, who doesn't. The course had a bit of everything in it. I enjoyed being in the woods the most as the cooler temps were refreshing while the patches where we were out in open fields just sucked me dry. My strategy was to play it calm and stay with the half marathon leaders. That did not play out as planned as I was in essence even the half marathon leader. At the end of the 1st lap, I was 6 minutes up on the half marathon winner. (Yes, I had the fastest HM time of the day.) My second loop was slower as the thermometer climbed during this time. I ran about 10 minutes slower!  (Funny note is that my 2nd lap time was the 4th fastest HM time of the day too. And if it was one second faster, it would have been 3rd) In end, I won with a time that ended up being 42 minutes over 2nd, who was the 1st female. It seems some of the marathoners dropped due to the weather.

Just a week later, feeling like I wanted to run something more, I hopped in the Schuylkill River Trail Run. This was a 5 mile run that was way more challenging than I hoped. It mentioned some ravine running and did not disappoint. We crossed 4 streams. Undulating is the perfect way I could describe the course. It was a hard fought race but I pulled it out as well winning by around 30 seconds. But boy was that tough. I'd say it was the hardest race of the three because the course kicked up hard and required maximum effort from a speed standpoint. A nice way to end the month.

July for sure will not be as busy. Only have one race on the slate (may add a second) but it is one I absolutely loved last year: Chasin for Chaflin. The fact, it is not a 15K, makes me giddy. Until then....

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