|Cheyenne Mountain, CO|
I got up at 6:30 (two-hours before the race started), ate a light breakfast and drank some coffee. The weather was overcast and about 38 degrees with intermittent sprinklings of snow/rain. The wind picked up throughout the race as well (so, weather-wise, the same crap I've been running in for the last 5 months).
I think what stands out most to me regarding the race was how difficult it was. I underestimated that big time. We had a total of over 2,500 feet of gain throughout the course. The first few miles were nearly continuously uphill. I was feeling decent through the first 10K and spent the next couple of miles going back and forth with another racer. We were sitting in 6th and 7th position with 5th in sight. Then I fell apart.
|Me about mile 8. I would lose that 'rock on' attitude shortly after that.|
At 15K, we made a 'lollipop" on the course, meaning we made a one-way loop off the main trail where we had two-way traffic. This loop was ~5K, and it sucked. I was hurting pretty bad by that point, was out on my own, and stuck climbing some very difficult hills. I was cold and ready to be done. I was, up to that point, averaging about 25 minutes per 5K; I ran the 15K-20K section in 35 minutes. I also got passed by the first overall woman at that point, but was too tired to care about getting chicked. I finally finished up that 5K, and was thankful to see the last 5K to the finish was fairly flat.