In the past four years I think I've only raced three other shorter trail races. Therefore, I just don't have a lot of experience with them. So, I knew my biggest obstacle today would be pacing. Still, if things went well, I thought breaking 50:00 on this course was a good, obtainable goal at this stage.
I ended up finishing the six mile race in 49:10 and 39th out of 147. I was kind of surprised by the ranking. Very stacked field this year, and looking at last year's results I would have placed much higher with my time today. A small course change on one section due to trail maintenance also apparently made it a bit easier though.
Mile 1: The humidity was absurd, and breathing in the heavy air was difficult for the first mile, but this was also likely due to me perhaps starting out a touch to fast. I had originally thought to hold back more for the first half, since I don't have my pacing down (yet) for these shorter distances. However, it wasn't too bad, and I caught myself before things got worse.
Miles 2 and 3: Definitely the toughest miles. Lot of technical uphills and my pace really slowed down. Also noticed my Garmin wasn't locking on the satellites (me thinks it's about dead). And to top things off, I slipped on a turn and wiped out pretty bad. Left forearm got some gnarly bruises and I don't bruise easily.
Miles 4 and 5: Started to get my rhythm back a bit, coming to life a bit more on a long downhill.
Mile 6: Knew I had a chance to break 50 minutes and was feeling pretty strong, so just kept it going and was happy to cross the finish line.
Post race: Couple minutes after finishing, I ducked into the woods and puked (that was cool).
Big congrats to the other Trail Monsters. Lots in our group raced really, really well. Nice to see so many of us not injured (or pregnant) and kicking some butt. Big thanks to Ian and his sidekick Ryan for organizing yet another helluva an awesome race.
Will post some pics later.
Ran 6.0 miles @ 8:12/mile pace.
Lower-mid 70s, very humid, partly cloudy.
Asics Trail Attacks, shorts, sleeveless shirt, cap.