The run started on pavement and went about half a mile around a retention pond before going into the woods. I could feel my IT band barking as we were running. It didn't help that I was using an old pair of Nike Reax running shoes.
I made sure to start near the front of the group. Waited for the gun to go off, then started to run fairly easily, but hard enough to keep up with the front pack. I had decided that I wasn't going to go all out, but I still wanted to post a respectable time.
As we entered the woods and the trail greeted my feet, something amazing happened. My IT band started to feel better RIGHT away. I had been very worried about it...almost to the point that I didn't finish the 1/2 mile pavement run to the trails.
I had hope! Maybe I could run the trails conservatively and finish.
The lead pack took off. I think it consisted of about 7 or 8 ppl. I wanted to go with them, but I kept telling myself, " have to take it easy!" I stayed back with the "chase" pack. There were about 20 of us and I was at the back of it. Perfect! :)
At this point, I took off my gloves and alternated holding them in different hands. I almost took off my long sleeve shirt to run in the short sleeve technical shirt underneath, but decided that I didn't want to tote that thing around.
Little by little, turn after rocky turn, I started to pick them off. I'd get right behind a guy, then speed up enough to pass him. Then, I'd set my sights on the next guy. I did this all the way until the 3.5 mile mark. I saw a sign that indicated we had a mile left. There were still 3 guys ahead of me and I could tell they weren't going to be easy to pass. I had plenty of gas, but passing on these narrow trails was difficult. I didn't want to add a sprained ankle or broken anything to my resume, which already included a sore IT band and sore muscles (from PT).
I waited until there was a half mile left, then I just sprinted past them all. At that point, i busted out the speed and left the chase group behind. I knew that I wasn't going to catch the lead pack, but I didn't really care.
I sprinted on the straightaway (about 1/4 mile) and then crossed the finish. I could have sworn my time was low 35, but my time later was posted as 35:42 (or something close).
I waited around for a few mins and then the chase pack trickled in, maybe about 1-2 mins behind me. I congratulated a few of them, then went to the waiting area. I was hoping that I didn't see anyone there, b/c that could mean that I had come in first OA at a non-race effort. I saw one guy there, but still had no idea where I had placed OA.
I met and talked to Jack Johnson, who is a runner that suffers from IT band issues as well. A little while later, I met and talked to darrel.Nice to meet you, man!
When the event staff posted the results, I was shocked to see I hadn't placed in the 30-34 age group. Wow! All those fast ppl must have been in my AG! I went back to talk to Jack and he suggested that I look in the next age group. Huh? OK, I'll look.
There I was, 1 AG in the 35-39ers...and 4th overall. I'm 34, and at least 8 months away from turning 35. I feel like I cheated! :) HA!
I waited around and clapped and cheered for all the award recipients, then got mine. I waited until Jack got his, then headed back home.
I could feel my IT band, but it didn't feel all that bad.
What would you do differently?:
Well, I'll race it next time.
I hope that I don't sound cocky or obnoxious here, but I think I could have won this 4.5 mile race if I wasn't so concerned with my IT band. Winner was 3 minutes faster and I had plenty left in the tank afterwards.
While this wasn't an easy training run, it was much easier than a race effort.
While waiting for awards, I talked to Jack and Darrel, then stretched.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
I like this race. I'll do it again next year.
Last updated: 2009-10-13 12:00 AM
45F / 7C
Overall Rank = 4/133
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 1/16
Woke up at 06:30 and had to haul arse to the race, which was an hour away. Got dressed, made hot tea and was out the door by 06:45. Ate a banana and trail mix bar on the way.
Registered, then went back to my car to pin on my race number and prepare. At 08:10, I took off my sweater and went back to the race site.
Jogged in place for a little while, then stretched. I could tell my IT band was not going to cooperate.