Sunday, February 20, 2011

2011 Lost Dutchman 8k Trail Run

Distance: 5.0 m
Time: 38:00
Location: Roads
Total Miles: 108.9 m
Total Time: 17:06

Today was the 10th anniversary of the Lost Dutchman Marathon in Apache Junction, however I was to be taking part in the 8k trail run just as I had done last year in my very first trail run. I knew heading into the race that the weather may not be ideal considering it had rained profusely over the last 48 hours leading up to the race, but I figured that the only way that the 8k would be switched from trail to road would be if there was some serious rain falling and accumulating on the course, after all this is a trail race or off road race so conditions should never be ideal, right? Well, after little sleep and a sore throat tingling in my throat I headed out to the course in the early dawn, winding down the lightless streets of the northeast valley. I didnt feel particularly psyched about the energy levels in my body and felt as if I would need to really dig deep to find the sub seven minute pace I was hoping for. After the long walk to the starting gates from the parking lot I was astounded to hear over the loud speaker that the 8k trail run had been canceled and it would indeed be a 8k road race that would start with the 10k racers at 8am instead of 7:45am and follow the same 10k route except the 8k'ers would turn around a little shy of the 10k turn around and head back. After mentally preparing for a trail run including strapping on my minimalist MT101 trail shoes, I was surely deflated to hear that I would now be running a road race on the surface that I despise. I also was not keen on the fact that I would be out with nearly 3 times the runners as I had figured for prior. It was just not my day. The run began with a quick start, a little too quick as I had figured on starting around 7:20 pace yet here I was running sub 6:30 for the first half mile. What I didnt anticipate was a little bit of an incline for the first mile or so of the race which took a little out of my sails but I pushed through and found myself settle in for a bit but then came the first of 4 pit stops to re-tie my shoes. I knew early in the race that I could not avoid the loose lace for the next 3.5 miles so I had to pull over. This was a recurring theme. It became quite clear pretty early that I just didnt have the desire to run a fast 5 miles on the road this day and at about the 2 mile mark, just after the second pit stop for a re-tie, I kinda resorted to a customary 9:00 pace jog which continued for over a mile it seemed. After making the turn at the 2.5 mile mark I became a little motivated at the fact that I knew the race photographer was coming up so I tried to put on my best race face, ya know upright, perfect form, maybe a little flexing of the biceps......okay maybe not. The adrenaline kicked in at this point and I made it my goal to finish strong if possible and that I did. I ran the last mile in sub 7 pace to a 38:05 timing. Looking back on the run I realize that with a little luck with my laces and a more well prepared mental outlook I could of easily got a sub 7 pace throughout the race. I am happy with the fight I put in at the close of the race so there is some positives to take from the day. Another day/race awaits.

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