Monday, September 19, 2011
Pisgah 23k( or perhaps 30k, if you don't think clearly)
Race morning was a little chilly, which generally means for great racing weather this time of year. Today was no exception. Standing at the start was a little cool but it didn't take long to get warmed up. I did not do a warm up run, figured I didn't need to. By the first hill on Horseshoe road I was at a perfect running temp. I started out pretty conservatively, I knew I had some hard work ahead of me. At the split from the 50k guys is were I was able to see who I would be racing against. I was having one of those rare days where everything felt like it was clicking just right. I felt good. Justin and some other guy were about 150-200 yards ahead, which in the woods is barley in sight. Justin was just doing a training run, otherwise I would not have been able to see him at all. When we got to the right turn onto Resevoir I thought for a spit second that we needed to turn. Should have listened to my inner self. I know these trails really well. I have no excuses for not making the turn. Instead what transgressed was my lack of self confidence in decision making and I second guessed myself. I decided that the guys in front were the ones I needed to follow. I just did not want to lose sight of them. Big mistake. After 2 miles running down hill we realized we had missed the turn. Long run back up hill to find the trail, spirit broken. Once I got back up to the trail I almost ran straight back to the road and called it a day. I just couldn't bring my self to do it. I decided to hammer the course the best that I could and try to make up as much ground as I could. I felt confident pounding out the hills, relaxing on the down hills, and hammering the flats. It was actually a lot of fun passing people through out the rest of the race. The closer I got to the finish the harder it was to get past other runners, which made me have to push harder than I normally would have. Once I got to the road I was able to really lengthen my stride and push the pace to the finish. I made up alot of ground, but not enough. I think we added at least 3-4 miles on to the race. It was a beatiful day, great weather, amazing views. The course was well marked and handled. I love this race. Approx. 18 miles in 2:19. I'll take it. I hope to be back for the 50k next year or a least the 23.