9mi – 59:22 (6:36 pace) Avg HR 178
2nd place – Trophy Series, 3rd place –
Men’s overall time
This was my 3rd race with the rocky mountain road running and the first time I had the feeling that I understood the handicap system. I wasn’t really focused on this race and I was planning on just going to get in a good hard tempo run. In fact I had still run my scheduled long run the day before of 15 miles so I was hoping for a great time today. Laura Peoples and I got their a little early to get out race numbers. I was surprised to find out that I had a handicap of 40:00! One the race started I stood around for a while and then started warming up when the clock got to about 20:00. I ran a 1.5 mile warm up and then did some strides after that it was nearly time to start.
Mile 1 – 6:29 Avg HR 162
I toed the line with one other person, she was probably 17 or 18 and super fast. I kept up with her for about a half mile during which our pace was near 6:00. I thought to myself I will be dead in a few miles at this pace so I let her go on ahead.
Mile 2 – 6:49 Avg HR 168
Coming into this race my goal was to run under 7:00 pace. After that really fast first mile I backed off an slowed closer to that pace. I really didn’t feel good during this mile the adrenaline from the start had worn off and I was feeling I went out too fast.
Mile 3 – 6:38 Avg HR 176
Secretly deep down I had a goal of running under 59:59 if I felt good. I knew that I need to run 6:40 pace to do that so I said to myself let’s try it on and see how it feels. It was tough and other than that girl that left me in the dust I hadn’t seen another person till near the end of this mile.
Mile 4 – 6:33 Avg HR 179
With the handicap system if you start behind someone and pass them then you have beat them for sure. During this mile I was starting to catch up an pass people but they were pretty fast and I would only slowly pass them. I was starting to believe that I could hang on to this pace. The weather was great (40’s) the only that could beat me was the course which was lots of rolling hills.
Mile 5 – 6:35 Avg HR 183
Near the turnaround we had to run a good size hill (100 ft in about 0.2 miles). I charged up the hill and then coasted down the other side. During this mile I saw tons of runners that I was about to case down.
Mile 6 – 6:30 Avg HR 181
Of Couse once we turn around we had to go straight back up that hill. Again I surged up the hill passing some runners and then coasted down the other side which was considerably longer.
Mile 7 – 6:39 Avg HR 182
Once the downhill was over and it was flat I tried to get back into my groove. The clouds had parted and the sun was shining on me and all the sudden I felt like I was overheating. I gritted my teeth and held on for dear life. The hill just kept coming and I kept on flying up them an then coasting down. I know they weren’t big hill but at 6:30 pace it doesn’t take much of a grade to put you into the red zone. This was the hardest mile of the race.
Mile 8 – 6:33 Avg HR 185
My quads were crying in pain and I was having trouble holding my pace. For the first 7 miles while coasting downhill I would see on my watch that I was at 6:15 pace and I could rest a little more. Now I felt like every up and every downhill was a struggle to keep that pace under 6:40. During this time I passed a lot of runners. They all gave me great encouragement while I went by “your doing awesome”, “you look fast today” or “go get em”.
Mile 9 – 6:36 Avg HR 188The rolling hill kept coming and half way through this mile I was at 6:45. I didn’t know how close it was going to be or how far off my watch would be from their distance. All I knew was that I had to push hard now. Up around the corner the final bridge where the finish we started from. I passed a few more people on the final run into the finish line.
The way the handicap system works is that everyone gets a handicap based on their speed. Regardless of where everyone starts the first person across the finish line wins the race. I started more than 40 minutes after the clock started and I was the second to finish. I won a cool ribbon and a tougher handicap for the next race.