PRE race thoughts and information:
This is my first race of the year and it is the first race of the Mountain Junkies “RNUTS” Roanoke non ultra race series.
This is a 10K trail race in Roanoke, VA. It is on the Chestnut Ridge Loop Trail, which is on Federal land. http://www.roanokeoutside.com/chestnut-ridge-trail I run this trail more than any other, as it is a nice loop of 5.6 or so, is challenging and is very convenient to where I live.
My time for this race last year (2014) was 53:22, 8:41 pace and 9th in my AG (age group). 2013 was a 55:13 time and 17th AG placng. 2012 was a 57:35 time with a 14th AG placing. I have had roughly a 2 minute increase every year, but I don’t see that happening this year. Another kink in all of this, is that they might run it reverse this year (clockwise), which seems to be harder and slower.
I feel like I am getting more and more comfortable with just running at a comfortable distance pace, vrs running painfully wide open. I may be slower this year due to that. I do think my endurance has gotten better, due to running trails more this year vrs the Mill Mountain/Blue Ridge Marathon road course.
Due to them reversing Frozen Toes this year and the fact that I think I may have already plateaued, my goal is sub 53 minutes. I do not expect to hit the goal, but it is something to aim for. I would not be surprised at all if I was in the 54 or 55 minute range.
POST race report:
It was around 15 degrees this morning for the race. The trails were frozen hard, so no worries about sliding in the mud, like we have been. I enjoy running in the cold, so that was helpful. I decided to run a good pace at the beginning, but not as fast as I have in years past. The fast start in years past, had me breathing way too hard after a mile or two. I think the slower start paid off. Doug Falls, Eian Cork and I ran together most of the way. This made the race more fun. I checked my watch around halfway and was surprised that it read around 25 minutes. I walked a little on the mile four to five hill, but I felt that was necessary. I felt strong the whole way and finished at 52:40! Well below my goal. I really exceeded my expectations. I was 7th in my age group and 61st overall, out of 250, in the most competitive Mountain Junkie race of the year.
Here is my Garmin report: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/670208458