Wednesday's weather was much better, but woke up to 10+ inches of snow at my house, drove near Greenland on my way in to the Springs and figured about 6 inches average on the trail. With a good sunny day I knew a good meltdown was in store - but still expected to (literally) run into it later in the afternoon / early evening.
The plan was to park at the County line trailhead and jog along the old road a mile to the bottom of the hill where the race goes up the longest / steepest section of the loop - then go up a mile at a decent clip, amble back down - then do it twice more.
Trail conditions varied, mix of snow covered, muddy spots, sticky spots and dryish. Probably slowed me somewhat on the upwards journey each time, but I was pleased later to look and see faster times for each mile as I went (9:01, 8:37, 8:27).
On race day, I'm figuring that if I can go up that mile in under 8:30 I will be doing fairly well.
I'll probably do these again each week and likely tack on a 1/2 mile to the top of the saddle again as I get closer to race day. Will probably also do several more laps of the whole course to get better at each section. Also leaning towards doing a weekly steady tempo run (on Friday afternoons possibly) - set a time / pace per mile and stick to it the whole way.
I think it is accurate to say that this race is starting to consume me - I have and will put a lot more training into it - hopefully it will result in a good time on race day. 2 years ago I came 11th overall (217 finishers) - my best finish / place in any race ever.
I'll be a little disappointed if I don't get a similar result / place. But then I have to tell myself that ultimately I can't control that too much and are really only responsible for how I do. I need to focus on training, pushing hard and running a smart race based upon training when the day comes. So, I will throw myself at it and hope / expect to do well.
8 miles total on the day. No further damage on the foot, but still niggling at me. While running I did take some photos - nothing really scenic, moreso just to show the trail / conditions......
|Near the County Line Rd trailhead|
|Soon after the start of going up the hill|
|I'm standing at my turnaround point - 1 mile from the bottom of the hill|
|Back at the top of the hill - about to go back down to the bottom / where I started|