Friday, March 1, 2013

Castlewood Cup 2013 – Race Recap

The first big hill..just to show the conditions
February 24th was the day of the Castlewood Cup 15k trail run.  Leading up to Sunday the weather was forecasted to be in the 50’s.  This was even after the snow storm we had the Thursday before.

The day arrived and it was only in the 30’s.  At first I had on capri’s, a short sleeved shirt, and a jacket.  I walked outside and walked right back inside to change into shorts, compression socks, short sleeves, and arm warmers.  This ended up being the perfect outfit.
Leading up to this race I was not happy about it.  My heart was not in it.  I love this race and I love to race. I didn’t want to do this one.  There are a lot of reasons why, but I won’t get in to them.  My heart just wasn’t in it this year.  Once it snowed on Thursday I was much more interested in running it, but still not excited.  I admit that I hate cold weather and snow, but I love to run in it. Go figure.  The day arrived and I had race excitement and nerves, which was a good thing.

The group I met at the beginning
Leading up to this race I was still having issues with feeling like throwing up when I exert myself, etc.  In hopes that it was just not getting in enough food and with this being a late race time (10 am) I was able to eat two breakfasts and a snack before the race start. I think this did a lot for me. I had a ton of energy at the start of the race and through the entire race without having to refuel.

I was in wave 3, out of 6.  You are put in waves based on your projected finish time. I should have jumped into an earlier wave but didn't think I needed to.  As it was, when my wave started I was quickly the first person and I soon caught up to people from wave 2.  Within the first half mile we start on a huge hill and I continued to pass people on that hill, which always feels good when it happens.  Then it happened. I got stuck behind a runner who refused to let me pass.   It’s hard to race on trails because they are narrow and when you get behind somebody you have to wait for a spot to pass.  So I waited till there was an opening, said on your left, and surged, only to have him surge.  He did this every time. I was sooo pissed.  I had to wait until we got to an area where the trail really widened and I had more room.  Which, he still tried to speed up but I had enough room to pass him.  He got CHICKED. And it felt GOOD.

The rest of the race I would focus on catching the person/group in front of me.  Once I did that I would catch my breath, wait for a chance to pass, pass and keep up that speed until I caught the next group. Repeat.

Normally I am slower on trails because I tend to trip and fall. A LOT.  However with the snow, and with it being packed down by the other runners, I felt more comfortable and It showed. I went faster on these trails than I ever have before.  I felt good!  I never once felt tired.  Sure, going up the hills you feel exhausted but as soon as I crested them I felt fine.  My legs were never fatigued. I finished and felt like I could have kept running.  This is a great feeling, but also a disappointing feeling.  This was a race. I should not have felt like that.  However, I know that it’s just the nature of trail races to be stuck behind people.  I know I could have gone faster if I had not been stuck behind people a lot.  This is where I think next year I’ll be sure to start in wave one. If I had started in wave one I think I could have placed higher and had a better time.  However, with that being said, I did excellent at this race.  I am very happy with how I placed and how I did.  I finished this race and felt fantastic. I had a runner’s high.  I did so much better than I expected, especially since I went in to the race with my heart not in it.

I finished out the race by going out for some drinks and food with some new running friends.  This made my day. I have struggled with finding runners who want to run with me and who “get” me.  I am hoping I finally found it.  It was fun to hang out and laugh and talk and just be with like minding individuals.  Without them at the beginning of the race and the end, this race would not have been as awesome as it was. I owe them a lot.

My final results:
finish time: 1:24:16
Overall place: 69 out of 471
Female place: 10 out of 190
Division place: 4 out of 27

Here’s a breakdown on pace:
Mile 1: 9:35, big hill
Mile 2 : 9:40, stuck behind the ahole
Mile 3: 9:15, I did stop to fix my yaktrax and drink water
Mile 4: 10:05, big hill and stuck behind a lot of people going slow on this one
MIle 5: 8:26, mostly downhill and rolling
Mile 6:10:03, majority of it is uphill, worst in the park if you ask me
Mile 7: 8:55, rolling hills
Mile 8: 8:10, downhill and flat
Mile 9: 7:58, flat and a creek crossing
.3 miles to the finish: 7:32, as fast as I could sprint in the snow

1 comment:

  1. Wow ... CONGRATULATIONS! You did an outstanding job. It looks like you were really enjoying yourself and I'm so glad that you found some like-minded folks to share the experience with. And what a setting ... simply beautiful!