Sunday, February 5, 2012

2012 xterra 15k mission gorge - results

sunday marked the 3rd xterra trail run i've entered this season, and mission trails regional park was the site of the most difficult challenge thus far. not only did we have to contend with two peaks (the second included the thousand steps), but the race organizers decided to tack on an extra 1.5 miles to the course since one of the original trails was washed out.

a brisk 37 degrees in san diego on sunday morning, we arrived at mission trails at 7:10am to register and pick up our tees (green, black and now yellow!). a quick recap of my armor going into the start:

top: nike race day singlet
bottom: nike tempo 2-in-1 7" shorts
shoes: salomon XR crossmax neutral

and we're off!

we shoved off a little past 8am to accommodate the late arriving crowd, and the pace was quick right off the bat. the first mile was predominantly flat, as the first major ascent up north fortuna took place around mile 2. i ran up nearly the entire hill, save for the last bit at the top which was so steep you could literally slide back down.

miles 3 and 4 were great for recovery, as flats were sprinkled in with descents and rolling hills. mile 4.5 started the punishing ascent up south fortuna. quite fortunate for me, i was drafting behind this blonde girl in a black tank top who relentlessly attacked the incline, so i said to-hell-with-it and tried to keep pace. she carried me all the way to the top of the peak before we made our mad descent down.

miles 8-10 were a blur; i just kept my head down and found myself attached to a small group of 5 that stayed in the same order without any change. this was welcome, as my mind had been reduced to blubber at this point and i wouldn't have been able to process much more. the finish line couldn't have come any sooner, as i left nothing in the tank as i limped across. my unofficial time for the 10.8 miles was 1:38:58 - a pace of about 9:16/mile, or 57 seconds faster than my pace at crystal cove on a much tougher course.

all in all, i was very encouraged by my pace and stamina over a brutal course. all the training i put in definitely carried me thru and it's neat to see the direct correlation of effort, hard work and sacrifice validated in the form of greater speed and endurance.

the question is, what's next?

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