Nice day for a trail run. Sure it was a little breezy, but it has been much worse there. The temparature was about 50 at race start and warmed up to over 70 by the time I was done. I had decided not to carry water - really could have used some more on the second lap. 50K race started at 8 am, 25K at 8:15 am and the 8 miler at 8:30 am. This allowed for more people to be in each race. I don't think it was too crowded although there were times that I'm sure some people got in the way of others. I think there was about 300 in each race.
On to the race.... I had convinced myself that I shouldn't overdo it. Goal finish time was 2:10 to 2:15. Goal pace was to average 8:45 for the first 5 miles or so, to the top of the saddle, then bring it down to about 8:30 by the end of the first lap. Then for the second lap to stay around that 8:30 pace till the end - I would allow myself to drop the average a bit for the next 5 miles of up, but knowing I could likely bring it back down to 8:30 by finish time. Pleased to say that I did just about all these.
First lap felt good, about the only issue was sweat, mixed w/ sunscreen in the eyes. Started out for the first mile at 8:50 pace, that was the most crowded it was all day but it kept me in check and set me up well. Made it to the first aid station at mile 3 1/4 at 8:45 avg and I had not been passed by anyone since about mile 2, aside from a few leapfroggers - I left them behind on the uphills. The uphills were good and strong and I maintained the 8:45 pace, passing quite a few 25K runners along w/ 50K runners also by this stage. At the turnaround I even got to give a drive by kiss to my 5 yr old. Half way turnaround time was just over 1:06 at an avg 8:30 pace. Was taking 2 shot blocks at each aid station along w/ a cup of water. The steady climb back to the last aid station I allowed myself to slide back to 8:40 avg pace as the temparature increased. I was noticing more of the 25k runners starting to struggle, as did the 50k runners I was passing - I was getting thirsty but still doing okay on the hills. I decided that today was definitely the day to not try do my first 50K race.
Made it to the 3rd and final aid station and walked through drinking 2 full cups of water and taking last 2 shot blocks. The next mile was the steepest and with the distance already covered, plus the heat - really began to take it's toll on most runners that I was around and passing, including me. I struggled a bit but stayed strong up the hill, avg pace dipped back to 8:45 by the time I reached the top of the saddle - I realized there that 2:10 finish time was out of reach, but 2:12 was doable - if I pushed it. Was quite thirsty and really could have used fluids the rest of the way in. Knees were holding up okay, feet were getting hot and tired. Hit a good pace for the last 3+ miles. That last mile was quite long as it is really not downhill but I was determined to just get done and see if I could still pass people.
Final time was 2:11:52. 2nd lap was close to a minute faster than the 1st lap. As of this moment I can't see official results, which I am more curious about than anything, knowing I didn't win anything but still wanting to see how I stacked up overall, age group etc.
No regrets, lots of sweat, not enough water, but pleased with the effort and time. I think I did good considering the Marathon is now only 2 weeks away.
Met the family just after I finished. The 1st born had run the 8 miler, he rocked his last years time (1:22:13). Today he did 1:04:53 - a 17 1/2 minute improvement. His results were posted, he came 18th overall, 2nd in his (<19yrs) age group. Oh to be 12 again - he did no training at all and kicked butt.