Ran the second of the three cross-country series called Mud in Your Eye. The first was a 5K at Mount Trashmore and this one is a 6K at Bells Mill Park in Chesapeake...close to where I live! The first one I had a fainting episode prior to the race and tried to take it easy during the race. This second race, I have been recovering from a cold that has been hanging around in my chest for the last two weeks, but still wanted to give it a good effort. After the first race, I was in third place in my age group, trailing the first place runner by about a minute and the second place runner by about 16 seconds. For this race I had hoped to close the distance and hopefully get into second. I was looking for a time of less than 24 minutes.
The race takes place in a park in Chesapeake and the course runs through mostly grass covered trails going around or zigzagging two large grass fields surrounding a couple of lakes/ponds with one field that has a bit of a hill. The weather forecasted a perfect day of low 40's-50's with sunny skies and hardly any wind.
I got to the park in plenty of time and was able to park fairly close to where they were handing out the bibs and chips. I ran the west field as a warm up, took my potty break and headed to the starting line. The start was at the far end of the main field.
At the start we charge down the main field...reminded me of a cavalry charge in one of those Civil War movies, with everyone strung out across the field charging down to the turn. We take a right turn when we reach the end of the field to go around one of the lakes to the second field where we run the perimeter. At the start I was trying to keep the first place runner in my age group in my sights and try to pace off of him...I also 'felt' the second place runner in my age group pacing off of me. I kept the distance to the first place runner into the second field but the pace became noticeably faster than what I had planned. The first mile came in at 6:09 and I was breathing quite hard and running that fast over uneven ground was tiring me out fast. I slowed the pace a bit and the second place runner shot ahead of me and I tried to keep him in sight...thinking I could get my second wind shortly and overtake him near the end. We come out of the second field back into the main field and circle the perimeter counter-clockwise to the back of the hill and then a sharp left takes us up the hill. At the top of the hill we hit mile two and it comes in at 12:48. We go down the hill but make a sharp turn back up the hill and again down the back side until we again continue our circle around the perimeter of the field running on the side/slope of the hill. We continue to circle the main field and towards the end we head back up the field and circle around to the start area and mile three comes in at 19:32...the first place AG leader is way ahead now as well as the second place AG runner. We again charge back down the field like we had at the start and make our right turn going around the lake headed to the second field again. But before we reach the second field we turn around and head to the finish near the entrance to the park. The finish mat clock reads 24:21 as I cross. These cross-country races just beat me up. It feels like I have just run a 10k. I still came in third in my age group but lost valuable seconds to both first and second place finishers. I will need to run a very good third race in the 8K in two weeks to stay in third because the fourth place runner is not far behind me. I just love these series races...but cross-country races are really taxing.
There were 11 finishers in the Male 50 to 54 age group and 271 total finishers.
Overall finish place was 40 of 271
Age group finish place was 3 of 11
Time: 24:21.65 for an overall pace of 6:32 per mile
Mon: 10.1 miles run in Bells Mill Park
Tue: 70 min Elliptical, 75 min Cycle, 11 min Stairstepper
Wed: 9.1 miles run, 31 min Cycle, 10 min Stairstepper
Thu: 48 min Elliptical, 46 min Cycle, 20 min Stairstepper
Fri: 2.1 miles run, 21 min Elliptical, 21 min Cycle, 16 min Stairstepper
Sat: 5 miles run includes 6K race and warmup
Sun: 20 mile run in 2:38 on a very windy day
Next week's race is the third and final run in the Tidewater Striders Distance Series...a 30K race.
Happy training to you all!