The Grove, 17K into the race. Feeling very, very good at this point. But that didn't last long.
Erik and Ian have outdone themselves. The PFTF was biggerer and betterer than ever. Day one was the short races: 5K, 10K, 5K barefoot, and 5K canicross. The 5K and 10K had good size fields for a cross-country race, especially given that each race was competing for runners with the other races in the festival. The 5K canicross was wild with all the jumping, pulling, and general chaos. Had these dogs been kept in a kennel for a month with no outside play? The barefoot was great fun and the most competitive of the shorter races. I was happy to see that the top three were in the barefoot division and not the shod (mostly VFF) division, only because I don't see a difference between a VFF and a racing flat. The weather was stunning and the atmosphere was absolutely festive. I missed the afternoon seminars because I wanted to see my son Will run the 1600 at the WMC championships (woohoo, he got his PR of 5:22). Sam was unable to run because of his big Mt. Bike bruise.
25K race report.
I was very stressed about this race because of my sidestitch last year and my generally poor results at the longer (>5K) trail races. My time goal was 1:54 - 1:55, which I thought was very doable given that I'm in better shape than last year at this time and that was the time of the guys that I was running with before I collapsed with the SS.
Weather was a little warm - hot in the fields but reasonably pleasant in the woods. Winds were light to moderate. My strategy was to run by (1) feel and (2) HR. Prior to last year, I thought I'd be able to handle an average HR of 163-164 (92-93% of Max HR). This obviously didn't work. So my goal this year was to stay in the high 150s for HR. I was surprised at how fast my pace was this year at this HR. I typically hammer climbs during races but I decided to ratchet it down a little this year; this greatly helped keep my instantaneous HR at a more reasonable value. At the top of the big climb into The Grove (start/finish), which is about 10 miles into the race, I was feeling very strong and totally in control. I thought I would be able to pick up the pace a little in Oak Hill and finish somewhere around 1:50-1:51.
Unfortunately, I started to feel the exhaustion very soon after entering Oak Hill. I had been passed by a runner at the start of the big climb, when I slowed at the Pony Club aid station to take a gel and drink water (I forgot to take the gel coming into the station). This runner turned out to be Steve Wolfe of Acidotic Racing, which is the team that we had been had been having some fun trash talk with over the past two weeks. I didn't know who he was at the time and starting in Oak Hill (17K point), he and Dave Roberts slowly drifted away from me. With about 2.5 miles left, another runner passed me and he turned out to be Re Fahnestock, another Acidotic racer. I didn't recognize that either, until after the race. Crap, the two people who passed me were both AR runners. Re fairly quickly dropped me. I wasn't really slowing down, I just couldn't pick up the pace which is what Dave, Steve, and Re seemed to be doing. I'm not a good kicker but I gave it my best over the last 1/2 mile and finished in 1:52:40. A 25K roller coaster Pineland race is too long of a distance for my level of training (I've had two 12.5 mile training runs since the end of ski season) and this showed over the final 5K but, nevertheless, I am very happy with my time.
Clearly keeping my HR to 158-159 worked. At Mt. Washington last year, I ran with a sustained 163-164 HR. Why the difference? I think it is, ironically the hills at Pineland. If I'm averaging 163 at Pineland (last year), then my max HR on the hills must be really spiking, which is a signal to the brain to slow things down. Interesting.
Trail Monster Running was schooled by Acidotic Racing and two other teams. Unfortunately, Don Medd (1:55 last year) was a DNS because of bad stomach flu timing. With him I think we would have been more competitive. Congratulations to Chris, Steve, Re, and all you other AR runners.
Competition in the 25K race exploded this year. My Garmin clocked the course as slightly longer (.25K) this year (there was a small course change) than last but the number of good times was an all-time high. Here is how 1:52:40 would do this year and in 2008-2009
2010 25th overall, 12th Master
2009 12th overall, 3rd Master
2008 12th overall, 4th Master
|Distance||Lap Time||Cum Time||Lap Pace||Cum Pace||Avg HR||Max HR|