Stage 4 is the only evening stage of the ENDURrun. The start is at 6pm, which is tough in itself. It’s nice to have the extra recovery time after the previous day’s 30K, but prepping for an evening race is very different. What to eat? When to eat? Do anything during the day or just take it super easy? I ate a fairly normal breakfast and lunch and then a snack around 4pm.
I arrived at Camp Heidelberg about half an hour before race start. I got myself ready, chatted with others, and then whacked myself in the knee with the vehicle door when I went to throw my extra stuff inside. Crap. Why am I such a klutz? It felt like it was going to bruise, but at least wasn’t right on muscle, so it didn’t feel like it was going to affect running too much.
Just before 6pm, Lloyd took attendance and we walked as a group down the hill to the start. This death march is done so that the race starts and finishes on an uphill.
The beginning of the race is pretty quick because after the short uphill, it is a gradual downhill for the first 3ish km. Once the course throws the runners back onto Wilmot Line, it is a steady series of large hills with one monster of a hill around the 5K mark. I ran the first bit while chatting with a couple of other runners so that I would keep myself from going out too fast, but when I glanced at my watch I did notice that I was going a lot faster than I felt I *should* be. I realize that it was because of the downhill and I wasn’t doing anything crazy, but it made me think about it a bit.
I tried to run by feel again today, wearing the watch, but not paying attention to the watch. I did look at it a few times throughout the stage, but not much at all. On the up hills, I ran up each of them quite steady (mind you a bit slow) with the exception of one around the 14K mark when my knee decided to act up a bit, so I walked for a chunk of that hill to give it a break. On the down hills, I let myself go as fast as I could while still feeling in control. This helped to get myself partway up the next hill without having to feel like I had to put out too much effort. While doing this, I did pass a couple of runners pretty much on each ‘down’ and then they’d pass me half way up the next ‘up’. It was kind of fun to keep switching positions with them. They pulled away from me in the last 3rd, but it was good while it lasted.
I finished today’s stage in 1 hour 22 minutes and a few seconds, finishing 3rd ultimate female. This was another PB for me as I came in 3 minutes faster than my previous best.
Tomorrow is Rest Day, so I will not have a race stage to report on. There may or may not be a Stage 4.5 post, depending on what goes on during the day.
Great run tonight everyone! It was great to see a lot of PBs again tonight. It’s now time for lots of rest and recovery before we tackle Chicopee on Friday morning.