This is the first of two 30k races that Don, Jill and I have on our schedule for the weekend.
We met up at 6:30 am to make the hour and a half ride to Wurtsboro, NY. Don has been feeling some pain in his knee, but decided to give it a shot anyway. When we got to the race it was a little chilly, but much warmer than I had expected. Jill and I both opted to run in skirts and were wearing light shirts. Don, as usual, had a hat and a sweatshirt to start off with, but as we would see later in the race he ended up dropping off the hat and sweat shirt along the way. We also met up with Frank and Emmy before the start of the race. Emmy took a while to decide whether or not to run it due to a 100 miler that she and Frank are running next weekend. She finally decided to go ahead and just run it slowly.
Jill and I started out together and hoped to be able to run the entire first 4 miles uphill without any walk breaks. I had received some ribbing from some friends saying that we weren't allowed to walk. I had forgotten how much the first 2 miles of hill was 'pitched'. This made for a very awkward run with my left side much lower than my right side. I was happily surprised that my breathing did not feel overly labored and I felt pretty strong. However, at about 1.75 miles both of my calves cramped up. I had no choice, but to take a walk break. I tried to walk pretty fast, while still trying to get my calves to relax a little. After a few moments I started to run again, but my calves were still cramped up and my left hamstring and then right hamstring also started to cramp. I took two Advil and continued to walk/run, but then I started to get a crazy case of pins and needles in my left foot. This was now getting to be very frustrating, but I knew that the worse case would be me having to walk and run on and off until mile 4 and then I'd be fine. Luckily, I didn't have to do that because all the cramping went away around the 2.5 mile mark. I kept looking up ahead to see that Jill was running the entire time, which made me very proud. I picked up my pace so that I could catch back up to her and did so right before the top of the hill. At this point my legs felt very good and strong. Jill had met up with a guy called Ray and we talked to him for a little while before I went ahead to enjoy the downhills. I stayed ahead until a little after the 9 mile mark and then Jill and Ray caught up and then we ran together again.
We ran together until Ray got a burst of speed at about mile 12 and took off ahead of us. Go Ray!
Jill and I continued to run together for the rest of the race. We kept hoping for either flat or downhills sections, but it all seemed to be rolling hills. I finally saw Don up in the distance at about mile 16 and we picked up the pace so that we could join him. Jill was a little reluctant at first, but ended up sticking with me. We caught up to Don and he said that he was in need of ice as soon as he finished the race. He was now slowing down a lot to favor the knee so Jill and I went ahead. We had a pretty decent pace for those last few miles, but it was more due to us wanting it to be over with rather than due to us feeling good.
My splits: 10:02, 10:48, 12:30, 9:45, 8:41, 8:46, 8:17, 7:56, 8:22, 8:40, 8:21, 8:44, 9:12, 10:05, 9:32, 9:08, 8:43, 9:03, 5:23 = 2:51.58
Official race time: 2:52:01 and pace: 09:14
We crossed the line and then went right to my car to get some ice for Don. Once Don finished we all went inside the school to get refreshments. I went for the pizza and Gatorade! Yummy!
I feel pretty good for tomorrow, except for some blistering and hot spots on my feet. The forecast calls for rain, but at least the course is really flat.
I almost forgot to mention - It turned out to be a beautiful day. The sun was out, the temperature was ideal and there was a nice breeze to cool us down at times. The scenery along the route is really a sight to see. There are trees all around and flowing water along most of the course. At one part there was a cute little waterfall flowing down some rocks. The views along the way certainly helped to take your mind off the long distance to be covered.
Don and Jill
Kate, Don and Jill