XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series: "Thrill in the Hills" - 21k - RunHalf Marathon

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Winder, Georgia
United States
Dirty Spokes Productions, LLC
38F / 3C
Total Time = 2h 58m 6s
Overall Rank = 371/387
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 34/36
Pre-race routine:

Glad I set alarm for 6am. It woke me up. So we got going as best we good. We live 5min from Yargo, so got loaded up went through Bojangles drive through and got to the park by 7am. Got register, frowned at the swag. And we all sat in car as it was a bit cold out.

In fact I wore:
Coldgear compression pants w/shorts over
2-longsleeve shirts
headband (livesaver for sweat)
gloves (did come off after mile 3)
2-pairs socks (no blisters after race)
And was never what I would call hot the whole day
Event warmup:

Lol. It was chilly and really the only gathering was at the potties. Made for a less than social race. Most all were sitting in cars. I got out and streched, and the little jog to starting line was warm up.

sports beans
2 jels (took 2 with me also)

  • 2h 58m 6s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 36s  min/mile

Well, I started almost in the very back. It was the right choice and prolly the smartest move I made all day. It started and I started trotting on the pavement feeling pretty good. Most anyone knows, who follows me, that I havent done this distance even in training. So I was in over my head to some degree. The first mile was slow with the traffic hitting the single track. In fact we were walking for a few at one point. Like almost 15min for the first mile, which I was grateful for to be honest. I knew I didnt want to launch out too fast and it really helped me get checked up. It spaced out pretty quick and I settled in on a 4 pack of women that had a nice pace. We gobbled up a few people that seeded to far foward and really were alone for a long time.

Hit the first water station at like 3.4 miles. Water only so drank one, stopped for 30 secs or so and trotted back off. I wasnt watching pace too much, just focusing on the trail. Which made it go by faster it seemed. Bout mile 4 I dropped off to pee and took me awhile to get back to the feet I was on. Was feeling winded at times, but there were hills and dips around every curve, so you just couldnt settle in at all. Around mile six we were down to 3 women and I was still on their feet. I looked at watch and did some math and it appeared we were on like a 11:30 or so pace, hard to say with first mile and paying attention to trail. I immediatly started thinking I had gone out a tad slow. In fact at second water station the girl I was on blew past it and the 2 she was on and made a move. I thought for a split second about going but was thirsty and was taking a gel so had to drink. So I stayed with the 2 woman, it really helped me mentally. They were some chatter boxes and I was just thinking "shit i can barely breathe" much less talk. At one point about mile 8 I almost blew them, in fact to do over I would have. I felt pretty decent and was walking the hills anyway and still right on them.

At around mile nine there was a kink in the armor. My right knee started to twing with pain. Not unbearable, but pain for sure. Then it only started to get worse from there. The woman had dropped me and I was in survival mode. I walked the inbound (2nd) right of way hill with a guy and we were chatting a bit and at top it was a tad of a decline so I trotted off and after about 300yrds my right calf tightened. It stopped me dead in my tracks and had to rub it and talk to it for a min. I kept moving, but every time I would start to run that point on it would flinch like it was going to totally seize up. Add that with my knee which at this point is hotter, I was a mess.

So after the last water stop around mile 10 or so. I never rode feet. I was by myself and by mile 12 I couldnt see anyone in front or behind me. I basically walked the entire last 3 miles. It was absolutly brutal mentally and physically. I really wanted to do better than that, but just couldnt. In fact I had to stop on the beginning of the finishers shoot to rub my calf before trottling along to the finishline. F**ckin announcer was like heres #264 hustling in to the finish to beat 3hrs. So looking at pace I take it with a grain of salt, because the first mile was slow and the last 3 were dead slow. My pace when I was running was prolly closer to 11:30 or so. Which Iam fine with because Iam not fast anyway.

All and all Iam pleased with the effort. I didnt train as hard as I could have, but I still went out and put an effort in. I didnt fall down at any point,and cant really track down where my knee went wrong. The pain is in my kneecap area. I would rather be shot in the leg than have a cramp in my calf.

Trail running is alot more fun that road running.
What would you do differently?:

Injury aside, I would have gone out a bit quicker. I got stuck on some comfy feet and didnt get off them. I didnt pay attention to pace after first 2 miles till mile 6. Which at that point I started try to think about making a move, but when. Also, I might consider at this distance taking a fuel belt. Few times a sip of water or something would have been heaven.
Post race
Warm down:

Didnt sit down, knew not too. I walked around, stretched, ate 2 bananas and 3 slices of pizza with some water. Obviously alot of people were gone so hung with wife and listened to kids complain they were hungry and bored. Loaded up and left for home. Was covered in dust from it being windy. So took a bath, hobbled around for a few hours and took a two hour nap. Everything feels good enough save the knee. Its done and done.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Just need to get more volume for these distances or further ones. Overall Iam pretty please all things consider with how it went. You can never predict getting injured. But I fought through it and finished.

Event comments:

Pizza, Bananas,Water at finish. Got t-shirt,finishers medal. No raffle or swag.

Last updated: 2011-12-21 12:00 AM
02:58:06 | 13.1 miles | 13m 36s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/36
Overall: 0/387
Performance: Average
Course: One loop around Ft.Yargo. Ups/downs, few flat parts, roots, rocks, etc
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4