Ok, let’s start this RR with the day before the race. Woke up and felt like I’d landed a little cold. During the day it felt sort of better,but during Friday evening I felt sick. Was it nerves? I assumed it was. Going to bed, I was however not sure whether I’d be able to race today. So I woke up at 4.50 a.m, and I was sweating. Not cool. Thought of Big Spender and alvedon. Did not want to go there.Managed to fall asleep again, and woke up at 8.15 and felt better. Got up and looked outside, saw 2 inches of snow at least, and flurries. Drank a smoothie and watched the end of The Mask. (This week I’ve tried to watch Jim Carrey’s movies to get me in shape.) Was picked up by Ben and Stephanie, and they told me that it wouldn’t be an a to b-race, but an out and back one. The bus shuttles refused to drive in the snow! So we expected chaos at the start/finish, with all the runners trying to drive to that area. However we arrived on perfect time, at 9.40, and walked to the start line.
Race starts, and a group of approximately 70 runners take off at a 4.10-pace. Single track was waiting after the first K, so many guys wanted to get a good position. I promised myself not to burn out myself like in Vansbro, so I was kinda happy when we entered the single track and the pace slowed down. Finished the first 10K in 55 minutes, and it still felt very good. I reckoned I was maybe at 20-30th place at that time. When we hit a dirt/gravel road me and Ted Polley took up the speed and tried to catch Wes Trueblood. He was planning to run at 3.20-3.30 and was running in no mans land, so he was happy when we caught up on him. I had a bad patch between 15 and 20K, but when we met the runners that were coming back from the turnaround, my spirits were uplifted. When we reached the turnaround, I was at 13th place. Scott Breeden had missed the start and had caught up with me and Wes and Ted and after the half marathon mark, he and Wes took off and got a 100 m lead in front of me. Ted seemed to have some sort of low point because it was the last time I saw him. He’s usually a much more accomplished runner than yours truly, so I think I realized at that point that many guys on the course would have a tough day out there.
I continued to run by myself, advancing one place in the field, until around 32K. At an aid station I managed to catch 5 guys who seemed to take a slightly longer break than usual, so I tried to capitalize on that and made my stop as short as possible. All of a sudden, I was at place 7, with 10K to go. Scott and Ben ran behind me, but Ben seems to have lost contact with us a few K’s after that. So Scott and I ran together and passed 2 more guys until we finally hit the trail around Yellowwood lake that lead us to the finish area. 5 K’s to go, and I realized for the first time during the race that top 5 was in our grasp. The final stretch was awful, possibly the most hilly part of the course (it surely felt like it after 37 K….). I was “running” in the front, but it was indeed Scott who helped me keep the pace, by cheering on me when I needed it the most.
Finished at 3.35? at what I believed to be the 5th place. I asked Scott if he wanted to make it a tie, and we crossed the finish line together.
Afterwards, I was shaking, trembling, freezing and felt awful. Had some soup before my landlady Alyn drove me back home ( I had 7 bananas on the way back), I felt soooo tired, was almost cramping, as I sat in the car with no clothes on except my brief Craft with the heat turned up to 11. And I almost promised myself never to do a race like this again. Running in snow is not underrated. It’s just wet and cold. Got back home at 2 o’clock, and then went to school and played in a concert at 4 p.m.
I’ll take a hiatus now for two weeks, i.e. no running at all. Look forward to start training again in mid-December.