Pre-race smiles My strategy: run comfortably strong all the way through. Since it was all hills, I couldn't rely on mile splits or time.
My goal: Sub 1:15
Mile 1.5 was all down hill so what to say about that. What goes up, must come down right. I was really concentrating on my form here. Trying to run strong knowing that even though I had done about 10 minutes of plyos and warm - up, I didn't want to open it up and fly to hard right out of the gate.
Mile 1: 8:58
Mile 2: 9:23
Mile 3 & 4 had a major climb and I really wanted to make it up without stopping. I was really trying to draw energy from the strong runners ahead of me, but I had to stop towards the top. I didn't want to waste myself before the halfway point. A little high school kid picked me up before the top and helped get me through it. Thanks kid - good luck in your mile swim coming up Friday!
Mile 3: 10:17 (super proud of that split)
Mile 4: 10:04
Mile 5 had a sharp climb at the end of a long steady climb so I held on again for as long as I could. I tried to draft of a couple of women who were running very strong, but I just couldn't make it up without a little power walk.
Mile 5: 10:17 (again, super proud of that split and how weird that it's the same as mile 3)
The first half of mile six had somewhat steady terrain and I was able to regroup and mentally pump myself up. What a difference positive self - talk makes. I couldn't believe just last week I was actually talking myself down so much. Why did I do that to myself? I was closing in on the last mile. Mile 6.5 - 7 was the climb to the top where we started (remember that 1st mile 8:58 downhill split).
Mile 6: 10:08
By mile 7 all those hills were catching up to me and I had to stop so that I could finish strong. I am a little disappointed here though. I only walked a total of three times and each time I tried to keep it to a minimum (under 20 sec), but I must have walked longer here, plus it was all uphill so I know I was moving slower.
Mile 7: 11:49 (I didn't think I was going that slow)
The last half I knew I was so close to sub 1:15, I was trying to give it all I had. I was weaving in and out of people trying to beat the clock so hard.
I was really fighting the lactic here.
My eye was on the finish line - please let it be sub 1:15. I didn't even want to look at my watch, I just wanted to put my head down and go for the last gut check.
Final Time: 1:15:37
(10:04 ave pace/Total elevation gain: 4,425 ft.)
:38 seconds off, but I'm not going to let me get down about it. That was a hard f'ng course and next year who knows, maybe my goal will be sub 1:10!
More pics courtesy of my personal photographer (and it's my blog so I can have as many pictures of myself as I want right):