Monday, September 29, 2014

Wild Vine Trail 1/2 Marathon

Wild Vine ½ marathon

On Saturday, I ventured out to the Whitewater Center for their Wild Vine ½ marathon. As always Adam, Ally, and crew put on a solid race. Numerous water stops with Gatorade and water along the course. Plenty of ribbons and signage were used to keep me on the right path.

I lucked out and missed the bees’ nest that got stirred up by the passing runners. Several runners were stung, but there was nothing too serious.

My race was up and down both figuratively and literally. Aside from the lake loop, the course hit some of the most difficult trails at the Whitewater center. Our only reprieve was during the lake loop.  

After the first half mile around the rapids we hit the woods. I tried to settle-in with this group of about 6 or 8 guys. My breathing was off and I just didn’t feel good. In fact, I really felt like I was struggling. I just couldn’t get my legs to go.

They started to draw away from me while I tried to settle down my breathing. Chris, who just moved here from Texas, and I were working the trails together. On the carpet trail, he wanted by and was soon out of sight.

Off the carpet trail, I was really struggling. I took my gel at about 6 miles. I grabbed some water and Gatorade just before we hit the lake loop. Of all the trails at the Whitewater, the lake loop trails are my favorite. There are no twisting and turning or tiny rollers. There just lots of soft pine needles for the feet. This is the point where I really started to really settle down and pull myself back into the race.  I caught and passed Chris. I then caught sight of two other guys.

My legs were growing tied, but they had found their groove now. Finishing up the lake loop, we headed for the new section out by the entrance. I had run this as part of my warm up to get better acquainted with it.

The were numerous twist and turns as well as ups and downs. I caught three more guys during this section.

In my experience trail runners fly down the hills while taking it rather easy on the ups. My running style tends toward the more even approach. They catch me on the downhills but I would slowly pull away on the up hills.

Luck was truly on my side here because in the last half mile there were two nasty steep hills. One of which ran right up to the finish.  This definitely helped me slip away from them.

I wasn’t happy that I struggled so much during the early miles, but maybe I am still feeling some residual from my marathon 3 weeks ago or perhaps it was from being on my feet all day while volunteering at the 49er Invitational XC meet on Friday.

The good part, I got my head on straight and found my legs during the second half of the race. Coming on strong over the finishing miles was a good confidence booster.

My time was 1:52:17 and I finished 5 overall. This put me second in my age group to the race winner who was 45.

I am still curious about how they measured the course. My Garmin read 13.35 for the total distance. Given my experience with trail running, the course could have been closer to 14 or 14.5 miles easily.

One last thing, I ran this race as part of my weekend long run. I grabbed 5 miles before the start. Ran the 13+ during the race and then did another 2 miles around the whitewater center to finish out my 20.

All in all, this was a pretty decent day.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner


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