Friday, August 29, 2014

The last summer trail race

Photo from NW Trail Runs
Summer is certainly winding down. It's been warm this week but since there is much less daylight with the noticeably shorter daylight hours, it doesn't seem quite so hot.  The last midweek trail race series of the summer was Tuesday. Of course I had to do it even though my legs are tired and I'm looking forward to tapering. 

I wanted to see this course in action because i was having a hard time wrapping my head around a 4 loop course for a 10k. Interlaken Trails which are directly adjacent to one of the most beautiful sections of the Seattle Marathon/Half course really appealed to me too. It did not disappoint and I think ended up being a harder course than either of the other 3 venues I raced at this summer.  

Of course, it may have felt harder because my legs are tired, it was hot (85 was the high for the day), I was stuck in traffic for an hour on my way to the race and thus did not get any sort of easy run warm up to loosen the tired legs which got stiff and sore sitting in traffic for an hour.  

I parked at 6:28 pm. The race was scheduled to start at 6:30 but I knew they'd be doing their pre-race briefing.  I'd parked in a super sneaky area less than a quarter mile from the start/finish because i knew a STAIRCASE that would take me right to the area. Ha! Easy parking because those stair runs are teaching me some sneaky tricks of my city.  I got there in time to grab my bib, swing my legs around a bit pretending to loosen up and was ready to go. The race started as usual about 10 minutes late.  

As a result of all the drama getting to the race and my tired legs, I really just wanted a good tempo workout as usual for this event. We started on E Interlaken Blvd which is a paved road which is closed to traffic. It's a main pathway for the Seattle Marathon/Half and a well loved access road for runners, cyclists and neighborhood walkers.  Gradually hilly with some nice turns it was a good way to warm up into the race. I tried to keep this at marathon pace as an easier warm up knowing the heat, training fatigue and trails would make me regret a too fast start. After the turn around and heading back down Interlaken we hopped onto some stairs and onto the trails. And oof! 

There was even a scramble steep and painful straight up. I would've been happier with a ladder it was so steep. I kept trying to grab onto the plants on either side of the trail for more leverage but ferns are not so sturdy.  Up and up we went until gradually we hit some more stairs and came to the high point of the course. Turn around and back down another set of stairs back to a nice gradual downhill and to the road for a short bit to the turnaround. Brutal.  This was a tough loop! Only 3 more to go.  

I just worked on settling into pace such as I could. I saw a friend out running and gave her smack for not doing a trail race that was in her own neighborhood. She claimed she didn't know about it. Too bad! Each loop was 1.55 miles and seemed to go pretty quickly. After 2, i started passing the slower 5k runners and after 3 i was lapping 10k runners. I knew from teh out and back on the road that I was 4th female overall as usual and I was feeling good. 

I made it a point not to get passed by the guy who was behind me and just worked on running strong all the way to the finish. I wasn't running fast that was sure but I was running strong. I had good form and was enjoying the effort.  
1:03:21 that was the slowest 10k I've done! 4th overall female and just 8 minutes off of the first female. Typically I've been around 55-57 minutes for these trail 10ks so yes this was a tough one! I ran pretty even splits too. I had one final hot dog to celebrate. I hope this series comes back next summer. It has been wonderful!

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