Since today’s stage started at 6:00 pm, there was an opportunity to sleep in. I was able to enjoy at least 8 hours of sleep last night (without going to bed really early), which was wonderful. I got out of bed shortly before Ryan wanted to leave for work so that I could give him a ride. I dropped him off at work and then I headed to Williams Fresh Cafe with a book to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. I enjoyed having the opportunity to sit and take my time eating my breakfast, sipping my coffee, and reading my book.
Back at home, I enjoyed a quiet day of lounging, reading, watching a little TV, and doing minimal housework. Even though today’s stage is a strenuous one, I still consider Day 4 a relative rest day.
After getting ready for tonight’s race, I drove up to Ryan’s work to pick him up and head to the starting area at Camp Heidelberg. On the way to the start, I realized that I forgot to bring my shot blocks and didn’t have any gels, either. I knew that the race director normally has boxes of them for the aid stations, so I wasn’t too worried, but it was still a little frustrating to not use what I’m used to. I asked if they had any, and yes, they did, so I took two (one for 15 minutes before the start and another for the half-way point).
Just before the start of the race, all of the competitors walked down the hill so that the race both starts and finishes on an uphill (just to torture us, I’m sure). After the first uphill, we turn left for a bit of a detour, then back onto the hilly road we started on. We continue up and down, up and down the hills and then arrive at a turn-around point, which is a little more than half-way through the whole course. I really like the fact that it’s past the half point because it makes the second “half” of the race seem much shorter.
I was running fairly well today, but I felt tired, and as I passed the 10K marker, I knew there was no way I was going to meet or beat last year’s time on this course. I finished in 1:25:39 last year and at the 10K mark I was at 56 minutes, which meant I had to run the last 6 K in less than 30 minutes. On a flat course, sure, but on this hilly course that was not going to happen. I ended up coming in at 1:30 and change (not sure of the official time right now).
If I want to have a chance at beating my 2011 time and potentially coming in under 16 hours for the week, I have my work cut out for me. Let’s see what Chicopee has in store.