Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Race Report: 2010 XTERRA Paris Mountain Trails 7K

Results (based on Guntime):
50:00 (11:29 min per mile average)
Overall 172/240

After taking off a complete week after AOC and my first week of half marathon training, I was once again toeing a start line. This time for the last race of the 2010 XTERRA series.

The night before, I had my usual Friday night chiropractor appointment and then we headed out for some sushi. Since sushi seems to become more and more my perfect pre-race food, I stick to it. After coming home from the restaurant, I just felt achy and tired and was asleep by 8.30pm and slept right through the night until the alarm went off at 6am. I guess, I desperately needed some sleep.

Pre-Race Routine

Took it easy in the morning. I was out of the bed early enough to take a lot of time getting ready... And then wait until the husband was ready too. He wanted to come along, but not do the race... Just be my groupie and maybe (yeah right maybe!) get a "little" run in. We also took the doggy along, so she can get some exercise too... She ended up running over four miles on Terry's "little" run. Of course faster than I can run that distance, but she's half greyhound and I need an excuse.

Once at Paris Mountain, I picked up my package, did another pit stop (number 574 for the day) and then headed to the start. Karma wanted to check out the Lake and so I'll let her. This way, I was far away from the other runners and their nervous energy. While waiting around, we also ran into Chris, my captain (oh captain) from the Blue Ridge Relay team.

The Course

I have never done this race before and also didn't know exactly which trails are going to be used. We started off at Picnic Shelter #1, then made a loop around the upper parking lot (apparently, we needed that extra mileage to make the race a 7K), then turned right on Mountain Creek, straight at Sulphur, followed Sulphur to the left, crossing the road and heading into the woods again, climbed up to the dam, then took a right (not doing the steep steep part of Sulphur) on the trail which I forgot the name. Once we hit the road again, we took a left heading up the road and then turned right onto Sulphur again running back (all downhill from there) on Sulphur and Mountain Creek to the finish.

The Run

I started out in the back of the pack, right were I belong and took it easy until we hit Mountain Creek Trail. Once on the trail, I started passing people and got passed a couple of times myself.

I never expected to kill this race, but once I was out there, I felt good the whole time. I was working hard, but I wasn't going crazy.

Let's insert a short rant in here, shall we? Using an MP3 player during a race is a personal choice, especially if the race organization doesn't restrict the use, BUT a trail race is NOT the place to choose using music. During a trail race, people actually have to communicate to each other, because space for passing is limited. So when I am breathing down your next for the last 5 minutes and then say "on your left" and you still don't move anywhere... that doesn't fly! I had to practically yell at the girl for her to finally hear me. I think it would make sense to not allow earphones on trail races. Rant over!

The trail that connected the dam to the road (the one I forgot the name) is really nice and wide and fairly flat. That was a good area to just run! There was one girl that somehow ended up on that trail without doing the dam (there is a shortcut)... I am sure she didn't do it on purpose, but the look on her face when she realized that she has to turn around and the climb up somewhere else was disheartening!

If I remember correctly, the only time I walked was on the road section before it connected back to Sulphur. This area was so steep and I felt like I won't loose a lot of time by (power) walking this short piece.. But I would loose more time powering up the hill and then be too exhausted to try to really push in on the downhills. I think that worked out alright. Oh and of course I walked the steps up the dam.... That's a no brainer! ;-)

The downhill is of course fun, especially if it's not super steep. I made good pace the whole way back and once I hit the amphitheater, I put it into high gear for the remaining quarter mile and was able to pass several runners. Stopped the clock at 50 minutes... Not bad.

Even though they had a photographer on the finish line, I wasn't able to locate any pictures of me.... Sad. My backup photographer was out on his "little" run and just got back to the finish line area when I was already done.

Post Race

I picked up a water bottle and half a bagel (that I shared with Ms. Wonder Dog) and then we hightailed it out of park since we had plans to meet up with friends in the Gaston NC for the day.

So far the XTERRA series results haven't been posted yet and normally it takes them a couple of months to get that done... Not that I have big expectations on that, just to let you know.

I am already signed up for the first race of the 2011 series which is going to be in November of this year and an 11K. Seriously, I am already looking forward to that one, even though it's a week after my half marathon... It's going to be fun!

So long! ;-)

1 comment:

  1. Ahh I need to get my butt over to Paris mtn! Glad the race went well. I'm hoping to do these xterra races one day. Unfortunately I think I'm already signed up for a different race on the day of the 11k :-/