Unfortunately, that didn't happen. I DID beat last year's course record though. But...last year's winner passed me in the last half mile and beat her previous time by even more than I did. Last year, she was well ahead of me for the entire race, and beat me by about 6 minutes. This year, I never saw her until the last 2 miles, when we were on opposite sides of a hairpin turn and I realized she was creeping up on me. Quickly. According to official results, she was 1:30 behind me at 6.5 miles. Apparently, she ran her second half of the race a lot faster than her first half. By the time she caught me, I was done. I wasn't getting a whole lot of oxygen, and my legs had been threatening collapse for several miles. I was running on sheer will power. I tried really hard to stay ahead of her, but I just didn't have it. I'm disappointed that I lost the win that close to the finish, but I know I gave the race all I had and then some, so it just wasn't my year to win. She only beat me by about 20 seconds though, which is a lot closer than last year's 6 minutes. I'll get her next year...
The starting line was ridiculously cold and windy. When the race finally started and I took off, I couldn't feel my legs. It was a very odd experience...it's hard to run comfortably when you can't feel your legs...
I lost feeling in my fingers pretty soon into the race, as I always have trouble with circulation in my hands when all the blood is flowing to my legs to keep them moving. My hands/arms didn't unfreeze til mile 6 or so.
I did a stellar job on my race braids this morning. Best braids I've ever done.
I ran a fantastic race. I did end up leaving the watch behind. I took the first mile at a comfortable pace, not too slow, but not blisteringly fast either. There was another girl ahead of me, but as we went up the mountain, I steadily gained ground and passed her just before the 3rd mile marker. The course started back downhill just before the 4th mile marker. I FLEW down the hill. The downhill was much twistier and steeper than the uphill, and I hated how hard I was slapping the pavement, but I knew I could lose the race on that downhill and I wasn't about to let that happen. At one point, I thought that girl was going to catch me, but she didn't. I held my lead until the end of the race.
Two years ago, I finished in 1:58.
Last year, I finished in 1:35.
This year, I finished in 1:29:36.
This is my second fastest time. Ever. The only race I ran faster was Myrtle Beach in February 2012. It's crazy that I just ran that fast on this course, which is the toughest one I run. It means there is no excuse for me not to consistently break 1:30 in my future races!
Random pictures I took while waiting for the awards ceremony.
Pictures I took while waiting outside the Hotel Roanoke for the shuttle back to my hotel.
Now it's time to take another few days off. All that downhill pounding has my hip hurting. And I don't have another race until...this coming Saturday. It's just a 3 mile sprint, I don't need to train. I don't think I'll mind if I take most of this week off.
update 4/24/13 : I keep getting tingling feelings in my hands. I think I messed something up by not having feeling in my hands for 5 miles on Saturday...they kept falling asleep during my jog yesterday too. Ugh.