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So did I run today? Nope...it's one of my cross-training/rest days and even though I heavily debated doing some type of run in celebration I decided that I celebrate running just about every other day and the fact that I didn't run today doesn't mean I'm not a runner. Instead, today I apparently decided to celebrate with some extra sleep. haha
I guess you could say that I'll be celebrating this upcoming weekend when I participate for the 5th straight year in the Idyllwild 5k/10k race in our local mountain community.
It's a tough race, for me anyways, for a lot of reasons. 1) It is in the mountains so at altitude - thinner air to breathe; 2) It has a LOT of hills; 3) Not a lot of course support as it is tiny, tiny, tiny; 4) Did I mention the hills???
Here's a pic of the course elevation:
Yeah, you see that downhill start followed by a massive climb for a few miles? It gets me every time. As I mentioned, this is my fifth straight year participating in this race, and my 4th time doing the 10k. Last year I was forced to do the 5k as I was still recovering from my knee surgery and rather than even attempting to run it, I planned on walking the entire thing; which I did.
So let's look at my previous finish times:
2010 - 1.22.12
2011 - 1.16.20
2012 - 1:22:15
2013 - did the 5k and didn't really care about time
The first year the race totally kicked my butt. So I headed to the local hill, that I still continue to use as a warm-up now at Diamond Valley Lake, and had my first introductions to "The Beast". I put in a lot of hill work that year because I was bound and determined to do better the next time around; and you can see that I did!! Then I slacked off in 2011/12 and returned to my flatlander ways and you can see that I went right back to where I was that first year.
My goal this year is to PR in every race distance and this is my first shot at getting a new personal best in the 10k! I'm really hoping to feel strong and confident on those hills, but I also already have my doubts. Let's talk strategy for a moment...
You can see that it is a downhill start, and that is actually part of the problem! It is a small race so it is easy to get caught up in the start line excitement especially because if you slack at the beginning you'll quickly find yourself all alone out there. I absolutely love running downhill, but I also tend to cramp up in my shins/calves if I go out too quickly and then I find myself losing time because I'm stopping to stretch my legs out. So it is imperative that I start off slowly. I want to spend the first mile or two getting in the groove and saving my energy for the hill.
|At least you can't say it won't be scenic!!|
That downhill after the big ass hill - I plan on really capitalizing on it! I want to completely take off there and keep a run up the entire time until the final little hill close to the finish. I might walk that hill, I might run it - really it depends on how I'm feeling. But then I'll throw on the burners and sprint to the finish to quickly shut off the Garmin. This is not a chip timed race, but they do have folks recording the times at the end and they seem to usually be fairly accurate since you pretty much cross over the start line as soon as the horn goes off because it is so small.
In the past I've been able to really utilize fishing in this race, so I'll do that here as much as possible. There's just something so rewarding about picking a person and then passing them. I know that as much as I have struggled with this race, there are others that also do too so if I can capitalize on that in the later miles I will! hahaha
My big concerns for this weekend:
- It's looking like it is going to be toasty warm this weekend!
- It's at altitude
- I'm on my first week of 10-hour days for work so the fatigue usually really sets in by the end of the first week until I acclimate to the new hours by about week 3
- We are renting a cabin so I won't be sleeping in my own bed which means I may not be as rested as I would like to be
- My running has not been as stellar as I would like it to be lately...I haven't been pushing as much as I could/should and even though I've done a lot of hill walking, I haven't done a ton of hill running. That might bite me in the rear.
So with all that taken into consideration all I can do at this point is do my best! I'll go out there and put in the best effort that I can...I'll let you know how it all goes next week!