At some point in the past, someone has told me that what goes up, must come down. I guess the reverse is true as well.
In the Charlotte 10 miler we go down, down, and, down, and down some more in the first couple of miles. Everyone looks strong running downhill.
Then, we tackle a few hills thrown between miles 3 and 5, but they are not bad. They help break up running on the greenway.
Around 8 miles, we exit the greenway for the last couple of miles on the road which took us through a side neighborhood. Here's where the real climbing comes into play. I guess what makes the final hill such a challenge is that it climbs so much in just a short period of distance.
Up to this point, I thought I was managing my race fairly week. Dan, Ryan, and few others made up our little group leaving the start. Ryan looked strong heading into the greenway but then he drifted back. Meanwhile I was working hard to stay with our group. Warming up, I just felt tired today. My legs didn't have any pop in them. This partly explains why they were opening some distance on me, and the fact they were in better shape than me. Through miles 3 to 5, I felt like I was struggling. The hills were kicking my “but”.
I went through 5 miles in 30:30, but I wasn't feeling good about it. However, keeping me motiviated was catching the two guys in front of me. The first guy, I caught around 6 miler. The second guy, I caught him about 8 miles. We ran together until we hit the hill. Then, he says to me: "come on”. I wish. I felt like I was crawling up the hill. My quads were burning. I just wanted to get to the top and more so the finish.
He opened a small gap on me during the final climb. I thought I could close it back in the last mile, but it never happened. I watched his back as he stayed just out my reach all the way to the finish.
I really felt tired the entire race and never felt like I had any punch in my legs. They simply refused to turn over any faster. This is one of the cases where the mind was willing but the body was not.
Overall, I was still pleased with my effort. I ran 61:14 which is about 20 second faster than I ran this race 2 years ago. This put me 1st in my age.
Mostly, I was really happy that the rain held off. The greenway boardwalks get slippery when they are wet. Makes it very easy for a runner to down.
After two straight weekends of racing, I am looking forward to some downtime from racing next weekend. February is half over, and this brings a lot of good racing in March. I need to get my leg mojo back.
See you on the roads,
The Cool Down Runner