This was a race that went pretty well for me last year. I had good weather, good competition, and a good day. My splits were even and I came just shy of 6 hours. Missing a sub 6 by 2 minutes left me wanting more. This year that was a problem. This year hasn't gone very well from a running perspective. I haven't gotten in very many/good long runs, and I don't feel as acclimated to the heat. the forecast was looking a bit warm for the race but I wasn't sure what to think. im typically a runner who prays for warm weather to give myself an advantage. but this year I wasn't sure.
the gun went off (or dave yelled go 4 seconds late) and we were off. I started comfortably which was up front with some marathoners. we ran together for the first 3 miles to the crown. I planned on attacking it just like last year. I ran up the first climb hard and it felt ok but I was pretty out of breath. last year within 5 seconds I would catch my breath and be fine but this year I was having trouble. it was a mix of being not in as good of shape and the humidity. I bombed down the first descent as fast as a could and was now alone. I ran the rest of the crown solo and toward the bowl. on the way to the bowl the other guys caught me and we ran together once again. matt and tim? I think pulled away from me but we all came out of the aid together after the mix up. the aid station people didn't know we were supposed to turn around and we all ran through it. we leap frogged some more and came in loop one together in 1:56. it felt ok and it was a sub 2 so I figured why not go for that sub 6? last year I was in a lot better shape so whatever I did on the first loop I knew that was going to be my pace for the rest of the race, but not this year. the first 11 miles of loop 2 felt good and out of no where on my way back from the crown my legs seized up and I nearly went to the ground. they locked up so bad I would stand there for 20 seconds or so then walk for another 20 seconds then I was good to go again. it was happening quite often so I started getting worried if 40 miles was going to happen. by this time the heat was cranking and I was hurting. I came in from loop 2 at 4:11 I think.
I left for loop 3 knowing it was going to be a slow one. the next 3 miles were filled with more crazy cramps and me yelling in pain. my whole running career I've never experienced cramps. ever. I saw 2nd place and saw I had about 3 miles on him. at this time I had no idea what my legs were going to do and if I could even finish the damn loop. I lowered the pace and it seemed to keep it all under control. I started feeling better after the first section of the crown and kept running most of the flats. I knew if I could do that he would deserve it if he caught me. loop 3 was extremely slow and I came in at 7:09 and I was glad to be done.
The course had some minor tweaks this year and it was awesome. it was all evenly dispersed and there was no longer 13 straight miles of nothing. it still is a strategic course but I love it. my fiance ran the half and she did awesome. finding out that she did good and more importantly had fun was also nice when I got done. this was my first local race all year and it was nice to see familiar faces once again. we all hung out and had a few beers. I brought Rahr gravel road because I figured it was fitting for a course that was mostly on gravel roads. 6 weeks til cactus rose and I've got a long ways to go and a short time to get there. can't wait til sep 13th 2014! the sub 6 will happen!