Bigelow Hollow State Park
Northern Nipmuck Trail
I never learn. I go out fast. Hang with the big boys for a few. Think I'm cool. Then I realize, hey, you have to run 8 more miles to get back to your car dude! That should be the title of my book or maybe it should be "Pacing for Idiots".
When I signed up for the race, I knew some speed work would have to be in my training routine. An hour tempo here and there was about all I could muster since the TARC 6 Hour event I ran last month. My training block between these races has been somewhat dismal. Low mileage, not really wanting to get out of bed for my 4:30AM runs (who the hell who want to do that anyway???) and probably the poorest nutritional intake in years had me guessing come race day.
Of the 150 starters, I new a handful and maybe a few more by sight. I had a good idea who the competition would be and things played out well early on.
I ran with a pack of 5 guys after the initial climb (which was a lung buster). Ryan Welts and I were behind the three for awhile and would catch them on the downhills and then the three would gap us on the flats. It was fun cruising around at break-neck speed with like-mind individuals. I know I always say this but, my running capacity would definitely increase if I could train with runners like these guys.
The course consisted of brushed out fast single track, fast and furious downhills and some technical uphill sections, all in which you had to repeat on the way back on this out-and-back course. I hung with this group for almost an hour then I hit the wall. My legs just didn't have the turn-over and the hills seemed way harder than what they should have been.
Interesting thing to note, my hard tempo's have been an hour long. This is precisely when my bonk occurred. It had a little something to do with caloric intake, but I think a longer tempo is necessary if I want to compete at these mid-distance races.
After the turn-around, I just couldn't move up-hill at all. My legs were junk and I was just waiting for the masses to pass me. Jack Pilla and a few other guys quickly gobbled me up, then two more guys caught me over the next few miles.
I hit the aid station knowing I only had 4 miles to go and one killer hill ahead of me. I got passed again after the hill by two guys and downed a GU thinking some nutrition could benefit me. Within minutes I felt awesome and picked up the pace. I soon re-passed them and finished well on the downhill to the line.
13th place in 2:29:55 after being 7th at the turn-around. A little disappointing, but I'm the only one to blame for that. The course was in amazing shape and well marked. Jim C and his crew put on an superb race. Plenty of pizza, soup and beverages for everyone.
Full results can be found here.
For awesome pics courtesy of Scott Livingston go here.