More = highest mileage week...ever!
I knew it would be a course PR...last year this course was covered in 6" of snow the consistency of wet concrete mixed with Vaseline. By all accounts my time could have been a lot faster, but with marathon #2 on the horizon I didn't push myself nearly as much as I could have...took it easy up the hills, allowed myself to enjoy the flat areas (of which there weren't terribly many), blasted down the hills. I still managed to PR, so my 15k in late June on a relatively flat course should be a piece-o-cake...assuming I recover well from marathon and trail relay.
Woke at 6:30 (mostly due to hungry cats accustomed to rising at that hour who would not be ignored), putzed around with coffee and breakfast, made my way out the door before 8. Had to make a potty stop 15 minutes down the road (coffee = crazy bladder...better before race than during--no port-a-johns on the course), finally arrived at race site at 8:50.
Got my packet and had a half hour for attaching chip, bib, stretching, and last potty break. Also met Buffalo Gal from RunningAHEAD.com and her friend, Shelly--one of the local NPR affiliate on-air personalities (she is planning to register at RA soon--yay!). Very cool!
My bestie (Eryn/backroadrunner) also ran. She was ahead of me for most of the race, but we followed our typical pattern...she creeps ahead of me on the uphills, I catch her on the downs, then I pull out all the stops for the finish (I think she put a hex on me at Milwaukee, since my cramps at mile 20.5 allowed her to finish sub 4:30 and I was 20+ minutes behind her). She did awesomely for someone whose work has been a major barrier to training and has had a week of insomnia and serious back issues. With adequate training I wouldn't stand a chance against that whipper-snapper.
According to my Garmin we were off at 9:33. 1:28:35 later I crossed the finish line.
This race is pretty much hill after hill after hill for the first half. Then the next couple of miles are a little more gently rolling, with a couple of last long and gradual hills (into the cold wind--ow) before the last half mile or so spill downhill. I friggin' LOVE that part. I get to combine burning the last sprinter blast of "speed" in my legs with gravity and pass a handful of people--YES! According to my Garmin I hit max speed of 6:29mm. Ummm...holy hell! My average training pace is usually in the 11 minute range! I wish I had remembered to stop my Garmin at the finish to see my actual pace for that last .3 mile.
My AG placement was 7/11, overall 148/211. Last year there were about 90 fewer people (thanks to weather, in large part), so I didn't place this year. Apparently all the slow people came out last year. Nice medals for all finishers. This is only the 4th year, but this race is already up by over 60 people compared to the first year. It's nice to see a small town race like this do well. It's a beautiful, challenging course.
Last year I vowed never to run that race again...then I placed and reconsidered. This year I didn't place, but can't wait for '10.