Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Salomon Trail Run; Race 2

The short version: 1:35:48 | 12.5km | 7:40/km

Pre-race routine
Being directionally challenged and all, I left Melbourne with plenty of time to get to Mt Macedon. I cranked up the heater and listened to the live music from Splendor in the Grass and an hour before I was set to run started eating my stale bread & jam sandwich. Mmm dry.

Event warmup:
Parked the car with 10 mins to racing and walked to the start line. Opted to wear t-shirt plus arm warmers, so while it was fresh to start, it wasn't freezing. I popped some powerbar shots.

We got a race briefing, but I couldn't hear a thing because people were talking loudly, I got the gist, follow the pink/red/orange signage.

Seeded myself towards the back.

Run comments:
And we're off. I had no idea what to expect or how hard the course would actually be. The profile looked kinda nasty, but I didn't want to think about it too much.

I wanted to start conservatively. The first two kms were downhill. All good. From kilometre 2-8 it was a gradual climb. The terrain was a mix of 4WD track, grass and single track.

At 4km I ditched the arm warmers. I ran behind a guy whose footing was incredibly solid, for some reason it gave me a whole lot of confidence and I did my best to stay with him.
At 6 km I seriously questioned my sanity, but did my best to push those thoughts out of my head. At 7km we came to a clearing that had stunning views and a hugely rocky terrain that was un-run-able. I got out the iPhone to snap a few pics and in doing so I think I was snapped by the photographer slacking off. We had a laugh. 8km was all about the water stop. I wasn't thirsty so much as needed a proper excuse to walk.

Then it got hard. Just after the water stop we descended. There was no running involved at all, it was just a slippery muddy slope, complete with awkward rocks. There was lots of tree holding in this section and it was frustratingly slow going and I'd lost my guy by then. At the end of the descent it was all uphill to the finish. There was a group of about 5 of us whom I thought would make it to the finish line together. Except they were walking when I thought I could run and so I ran albeit slowly.

1.5km to go was the toughest, I was doing the run/walk thing between posts and surprisingly passing people. I caught up with a girl I went to uni with and got her to start running again. Finally at half a kilometre to go it flattened out, she took off, I did my best to stick with her but it wasn't happening. And finally the finish line. In the end I finished a second in front of her!

What would you do differently?
It's easy to get caught up in a group of people walking. I know this happened in the marathon and it happened for a little out on the course today. Yes it was tough, there were some hills so steep that running up them was futile, but on some sections I asked myself why am I walking. I have to be more mindful.

Warm down:
We were provided with a goody bag and I was able to get some water, electrolyte and protein recovery drink to have on the way home. I made my way pretty quickly back to the car because I had to get back to Melbourne.

What limited your ability to perform faster:
I'd say hill training would have helped.
I also seem to have no confidence in my foot placement. Does this come?? Any trail training tips and I'll take them!

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