Hill Billy Half Marathon: Run Your Pace - Page 2
Getting lost in the forest's beauty, I stepped right into a four-inch deep mud puddle. … Couldn’t I have at least made it two miles before soaking my feet? I focused more intently on my foot placement and began to notice very frequent mud and puddles on the trail. The farther I ran, the more gunk I encountered.
So, to keep things fun and relaxed, I bounded off of rocks and logs to avoid the deep mud and murky water. I was feeling great and having the time of my life.
Through all my goofing, I was slowly creeping up on the lead female, Christina Bauer (second place at Moab’s Red Hot 33K, and my fellow LaSportiva Mountain Cup competitor). I was confident that I could catch her, but was in no hurry to do so. It was a completely foreign though for my miler’s mind, but after bonking (hard) at the Red Hot 33K, my number one race goal, was to run my race at my pace.
I must have splashed through a dozen knee-deep snow melt puddles (no way to avoid them) before I was on Bauer’s heels. I stuck behind her enjoying a comfortable pace and was debating on when I should make a move. Just after mile four, she stopped to tie her shoe, and I took off in hopes of creating a serious separation on the windy trail. Since we were friends and both experiencing challenges on the trail, I made sure to say “good work” as I passed Bauer.
Almost immediately my mental state changed from enjoying the chase to fear of being hunted down. My pace quickened. It was an out and back course, so I could gauge my lead after the turnaround. And, I wasn’t as far ahead as I had hoped. Luckily, it was mostly downhill … my favorite direction to run!
With one mile to go, I still felt strong enough to run another five. Then, with 200 meters to go, I still felt cloud-high. The course rounded a corner and I gave a quick look to see if second place was going to engage in a full sprint-battle to the finish. No one was there. I kept my pace and headed into the shoot as first female.
No doubt running relaxed and having fun helped me win the race. By finding a positive mental state, I felt like I could conquer anything that was put in my path. It is truly amazing what the mind can do.