Packet pickup was the day before in Boulder, so I tacked it on to some errands to stop by Target and Firehouse Subs for lunch. There was a football game in Boulder that day at 2, and I didn’t want to show up in town in time to battle the traffic, and I didn’t stick around town. After completing a bulk grocery run and grabbing lunch, I was inside and on the couch for the rest of the day. I’d gotten the athlete guide on Thursday, and I figured setting my alarm for 5 would give me plenty of time to eat and drive to the reservoir. I studied the terrain, and saw a couple hills that I ended up walking.
I rarely sleep well before races, and I was awake at 3:30. No problem sleeping through my alarm. I did have plenty of time to eat, wrap up my leg with Rock Tape, and hit the road. Not a lot of people are up at 6am on a Sunday. Driving to the reservoir was easy, as was parking. I parked near the portapotties and stayed in my warm car. I did get out a couple times to hop in line, and then right back in my car.
The marathon went off at 7:15, the ¾ marathon at 7:20, the half around 7:27, and then the 10k really did go off at 7:30. I guess that’s a benefit to small crowds. Everyone went off on time, and I did see a couple people scrambling through the portapotty line to get to their start on time.
I was a bad runner and never got over to the reservoir for any training. We were on dirt roads to start, a single track (with prairie dog doors), and all sorts of dirt and gravel for most of the run. The course was well marked, especially where the full and half marathoners deviated from the 10k course. There were also 4 water stops along the course, and paramedics biking around to make sure runners were OK. I kept waiting for the pavement the course description promised, and it didn’t come until the last half mile of the course. All of this got me wondering when my IT band would flare up.
Mile 5. On the nose.
It wasn’t bad at first, but I was still on gravel. Around 5.5 miles the intensity of the pinging increased, and I was mentally fed up with the gravel and didn’t want to run anymore. I had to keep running with my head down to make sure I didn’t roll an ankle. My competitive side kicked in because I was looking for a PR with the small field, so I kept pushing myself to run. When we finally hit pavement, I was starting to get a hotspot on my left arch, and the course kept snaking us around the spillover parking lot for the reservoir. Did I say I was ready to be done?
The finish line was small, and when I crossed the line, I was handed my medal, a water bottle, and a volunteer was there to take off the timing chip. These were ankle wraps, which I’d never run with before. It actually wasn’t bad. I was concerned about chafing, and forgot about it once I started the race. Since I knew I wasn’t going to age place, I grabbed my banana and headed to my car.
I PR’d, and my Garmin tracked me in at 6.14 miles. I know I wasn’t running the tangents, and probably added some distance hopping around trying to find flat, smooth ground to run on. Overall, it was a good effort, and I’m happy with my time, especially given the running surfaces. I’ll stick with pavement for now.
Tuesdays on the Run with Patty, Erika, and Marcia.