Labor Day 30K RR – 2010

I ran this race last year and during the race I vowed to never put myself through those torturous hills again.  Well, I signed up for the same race again this year.  Why?  Well, it is challenging, hills make you stronger, and most importantly I believe that this race helped me to run my marathon in Detroit as well as I did.  So. . . why not right?

Race morning, I get up, shower, eat a piece of toast with peanut butter, grab a bottle of water and I’m out the door right on time.  That almost NEVER happens.  I park and head in to get in the bathroom line.  No line?  I went and then chose to sit in a chair and relax.  I had a hour or so before the start and it was chilly outside.  Chilly by comparison to how it has been, about 50 and 20-30 mph wind gusts.  I was SO sleepy.  How was I ever going to run a 30K?  After a few more trips to the bathroom, I stretched and headed out to the start line.  Gun goes off right on time and off we went.  My goal – 8:45 pace overall and not walk any of the hills.

Mile 1 – 8:40 – Slightly uphill to start.  Wow!  My legs feel really stiff.  I hope they loosen up soon.

Mile 2 – 8:20 – Downhill mostly for this mile.  This pace seems really easy.  I’m loving this weather.  It’s perfect!

Mile 3 – 8:23 – Heading through downtown and then the first couple big hills.  Toward the end of the mile we start the climb.

Mile 4 – 8:39 – Uphill mostly. . . wow!  Am I really still holding on to sub 8:45???  Thankfully, a downhill helped me to keep pace for the mile.  On to the dirt/gravel/rocks. . .

Mile 5 –  8:39 – This mile was as flat as one could expect for this race and I was cruising along.  The effort was not hard though.  Plus, I was banking a little time for the almost 80 degree climb at the end of this mile.

Mile 6 –  9:00 – I didn’t walk up the big hill, but I certainly wasn’t running anywhere near my goal pace.  Even the downhill toward the end of this mile didn’t get me below my goal pace of 8:45.  But… I was totally okay with this.  My legs felt better than I expected they would.

Mile 7 – 8:31 – Ah. . . rolling hills.  The course is basically through a tunnel of trees.  Thankfully, this tree cover helped keep the wind away for the most part.  The weird thing was the wind through the leaves was so loud.  I kept thinking there was a car or train coming up behind me.  Crazy!

Mile 8 – 8:17 – More rolling hills and my legs have recovered from the big hill.  I’m feeling great at this point, but still 12 1/2 miles to go.  Lots of race left.

Mile 9 – 8:40 – The elevation chart shows that I was climbing for almost the entire mile, but it was quick up and downs as we climbed.

Mile 10 – 8:47 – Still climbing this mile too.  More ups and downs. . . starting to take their toll, but I am still feeling good, just not as fast as I’d like.

Mile 11 – 8:32 – Ah, a fast downhill helped get me back down below goal pace.  But, as with all downhills in this race there is an uphill to go with it.

Mile 12 – 8:14 – Woo Hoo!!!  Compliments of a downhill for almost the entire mile!!!  Feeling fast, but under control.  Just riding the course. . . right back to town.

Mile 13 – 8:23 – A rolling hill in this mile too, running back behind the downtown area, back on the road.  A welcome break to the gravelly roads under foot.

Mile 14 – 8:55 – Back on the dirt packed roads and surprise another climb.  This one is killing me.  Fight, Ang!  You got this!

Mile 15 – 9:13 – Still climbing ever so slowly, though my effort is still there.  Even the brief downhill bit didn’t help me to get back down to a sub 9.  Not even close. . .

Mile 16 – 9:49 – Course levels off a bit and I took a bit of a walk break, maybe 15 seconds.  I was back running, but my legs were struggling from the hills now and my back was starting to hurt too.  Ouch!!!

Mile 17 – 8:58 – Thankfully, this was mostly downhill.  My legs were still burning from the climbing, but slowly starting to feel like they might be able to hit my goal pace. . . or not.

Mile 18 – 8:53 – I see Milford Road!!!  At this point, I knew I was going to PR and I was starting to recover from the hills on the back half of the course.  Plus, I knew I had just a little further to go.  Speeding up. . .

Last .66 – 5:12 (7:51 pace) –  Making the turn onto Milford Road, back on the blacktop I picked up the pace.  I knew I had just a little over a half mile left at this point and I was trying to keep an 8 minute pace.  About 100 yds from the finish I kicked, causing my Bangle Pump to be a little lopsided.  Official finish time – 2:42:20 (8:43 pace)!!!

Post Race rocked!  In spite of the wind blowing and my teeth chattering, I enjoyed a beer and veggie burger before heading home.  Then it was up north for a little family time.

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