Last night, I was attempting to get a good night’s sleep, I woke up to hear rain. It sounded like fairly heavy rain as well. I thought to myself, “I hope this stops soon” and went back to sleep. A couple of hours later, I woke up again and heard the familiar sound of rain once more. Crap. Well.. it still wasn’t morning, so there was still hope. When my alarm went off at 5:55am, it was no longer raining. I was glad that we would not have to run in the rain today, but was still a little concerned that the trails and ski hills might be slippery.
For breakfast today, I wanted to be sure to have something that has worked well for me in the past (of course, I never have anything new before a race, but I wanted something that I could count on). Since I only ran faster than last year on one stage so far this week, I decided to eat the same breakfast today that I had on Tuesday: Quaker lightly sweetened apple cinnamon oatmeal with a bit of regular oats mixed in, yogurt, granola, coffee, and water.
We arrived at Chicopee Ski Hill about 30 minutes before race start. I found a chair to put my bag on, used the washroom one last time, put on my race bib, removed my sweater, chatted with some other runners and then we all gathered ourselves at the start line for roll call and final instructions. Lloyd mentioned that the trails did have some slippery sections, so we should be careful out there. I hoped that I would not slip and fall today.
Stage 5 of the ENDURrun involves trail running along with running up and down a ski hill. It’s a tough one, but the trail sections are very enjoyable and it’s one less loop tan Bechtel, so it’s nice to know that once you’re done your third lab you *actually* only have 2 more to go (unlike the brief moment where I thought I only had 2 more loops at Bechtel, but actually had 3).
I found that the 3rd lap was actually fun today (except for running up the big hill). Perhaps it’s because it’s the middle lap and after you’re done that one, you just have 2 more to go. After each lap, I checked the clock to see how consistent I was being and to do a quick mental calculation of the time I wanted to pass through after the next lap. When I started my final lap, I realized that unless something went horribly wrong, I should have no trouble beating last year’s time. I ran the course, and when I crossed the finish line, I had done it!
Last year’s time: 3:12:08
This year’s time. 3:01:37 (I think)
I beat last year’s time by 10.5 minutes! I came out here today to make up some time and I did what I came out to do. And as an added bonus, I didn’t fall.
After eating the wonderful post-race food, getting a massage, listening to the results (I placed 5th of the female ultimates today, and I think I may have moved up to 5th in the cumulative as well, but I’ll have to check the results later), chatting with the other runners, and then some more socializing this afternoon by the pool, it is now time to sit and rest up at home for a bit before making some supper and preparing for tomorrow’s stage.
5 stages down and 2 to go. I’m looking forward to (and dreading at the same time) the 10K time trial tomorrow morning!