it was a tough start to the day that i'd run my 5th wurtsboro mountain 30k. i woke up to the sounds of rain outside my window - an eerie repeat of the start of last year's race. but luckily, by the time emmy got to my house the rain had stopped and it looked like it would be a great day to run! despite the improved weather, i really didn't feel that well. it felt like the onset of a head cold - an annoying morning headache and some nauseous queasiness - like a hangover, except i hadn't had anything to drink! after copious amounts of coffee and propel on the drive there, i convinced myself that i was okay enough to run.
pre-race registration was one big social. after i picked up my race bib and said hi to myriam, i met up with don, jill and kate. todd was there with his two boys. christine and joe were there. barbara was there. and i finally had a chance to meet up with a fellow runners world forumite, rina. at the very last minute, emmy decided to run the race - instead of her original plan to volunteer (and use the weekend to taper for umstead)! i think her decision turned more on getting the pink wurtsboro 30k race cap ;D
as we lined up for the start, i briefly thought about racing it. i quickly nixed that idea because i wanted to bounce back quickly and, like emmy, rest up for umstead next weekend. a 2:30 target seemed like a decent middle ground. but, even so, i had no intention of pushing the first 3.5 miles - straight uphill (for almost a 1000 feet of elevation gain). i knew from experience that making up some lost time on the downhill was very doable.
still, i was pretty disappointed at my 3 mile split of 27:35 - and 4 mile split of 36:08 (9:02 pace with the benefit of a downhill slope in last half mile)! dennis and rene were manning the water station at mile 4. my 9 minute pace was a solid 30 seconds per mile slower than what my perceived pace was (and well off the 8 minute pace i wanted to climb those miles at). the next mile, 5, was an easy 8:04. myriam was there at the intersection taking pictures of the us as we made a left turn on the course. todd and his boys were at the 6 mile aid station.
i reached 8 miles in 1:06:39 - with the pace now a more realistic 8:19! the next few miles, following alongside the river, is my favorite stretch of the course. i reached the 15k half way mark in 1:16:42, an 8:13 pace. i was slowly working off the "extra" 4 minutes i spent getting up the mountain. but i would need a decent negative split for the second 15k if i planned to hit my 2:30 target. so i readjusted my pace downward, to 7:45 miles.
i reached the half marathon split at 1:45:39, an 8:04 pace. this was a rolling, albeit beautiful stretch of the course. at two points along this stretch - heading into 16 miles - there were two dogs running free on the course. the first, a tiny thing running alongside the runners, was pretty innocuous. the second, near a horse farm(?) - was a big as a horse and scared me to death. that was NOT fun. i flew by mile 15 (uniquely canine assisted) in 2:00:07, my average pace now down to a flat 8 minutes a mile.
dennis and rene had hopscotched over to the mile 16 aid station. and as i neared mile 17, todd was getting in a few post-volunteer miles as he ran the course in the opposite direction. my last 3 miles were all sub 7:40's and i finished up in 2:27:46 (a 7:56 pace). i was very pleased with outcome, especially happy with a negative split for the second 15k - 1:11:04 (a 7:37 pace). except for the half mile stretch where i felt seriously compelled to outrun - at least mentally - the wolf dog that roamed the course, i tried to maintain a sub-7:45 pace.
after the race we had pizza and 6 foot subs waiting for us - an awesome post-race spread. emmy went back out to run another 1.4 miles, don iced his knee, while kate and i took some pictures as we waited for the awards. plenty more socializing - and here is quick plug for a new race that todd and his club (orange runner's club) are putting on next month - april 19 - the hudson valley 15k (which by his own description is "challenging"). count me in.
the next day, don, jill and kate ran a second 30k in fairfield, the "boston blowout" - incredible! on sunday, i ran a 4 miler with my daughter (it doesn't get any better than that for me)!
check out kate's race report and photos.
check out emmy's photos.
check out my race photos.