Mo- 6m, 48:00 est. easy run back from NGCC Tu- 7m, 27:55/27:34-55:30 easy, ARNWR trail out-n-back Wd- 7m, 27:40/27:54-55:34 easy, ARNWR trail out-n-back, legs not back yet Th- 7m 26:54/25:29-52:23, upbeat, fartlek on 27 ARNWR trail out-n-back Fr- 5m 38:Haynes Loop, easy pace Sa- 0m rest Su- XC Race, Topsfield Cross Country, 48 degrees overcast excellent race weather, superb talent showed up as judged from the race list including this Olympian, patches of mud on second hill section after the Big Hill. ~5m course ran it in an unofficial 31:28 vice last year's 30:05 (goal #1 break 30:00). Last year I reported a tangle to the finish with salt-n-pepper beard guy (goal #2 beat this guy!). This year was yet another duel. The muddy details follow:
First 1K loop held back feeling like racing in 1/2 marathon mode. Missed one mile split. Caught 2m at 12:51 realizing I wasn't going to break goal #1 of finishing under 30:00.
Passed a few runners, one physically stopped on the big hill suprising me as it's a single track winding up with lots of trees and he was there right after a turn. Caught goal #2 at top of the hill, decided to hang back and shoot for position. Plan was foiled when bystanders calling out our names gave out my tactic. Drats.
Battled a few surges over hill and dale maintaining distance. Next time up the big hill I lost a little ground but still in the game. Hit the major mud section for the second time he STOPS and picks another runner's shoe out of the mud, thoughts-"such a sportsman." He hands the shoe off to shoeless walking with his girlfriend. Lost sight a bit meandering through the woods then he is limping from possibly stepping wrong. I fly by repeating words of encouragement. I catch a Navy runner encouraging him to stick with me so the gap will widen, approximately 3/4 miles out now. Hit the last gulley/hill curve combination and the guy is back trying to repeat last year's foil.
Well, it's not going to happen as we match pace and I block him out at the top. Next is 400 meters to the end. I know it's too early for a final kick--he's going, damn. Match stride for stride, side by side. Crowd, mostly really fast people are cheering now as a race has developed in the race. 200 meters out he's half a stride ahead, we are really hauling along now as the last 100m comes in.
This is when it happens. . . you go anaerobic the legs float--no more gears and somehow the guy can maintain, grimacing as all heck and finishing two clicks ahead. I finish 40th place of 54 harriers. That sucks! I broke that little popsicle stick in four places swearing to up the training and be in better shape for next week's challenge. Stay tuned.