Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fragrance Lake 10K

While the runners filed towards the starting line, the sky parted for some much welcomed sunshine.  The day started out grey and rainy.  I'm sure I wasn't the only one worried about a slippery, mud filled trail race this morning.  Once that sun poked through, the Fragrance Lake race was on.

The start was a 100 meter long moss-covered road, climbing out of Larrabee State Park.  We quickly crossed Chuckanut Drive and headed north on the "Urb" for 1.5 miles of flat, gravel trails.  I wasn't sure how much time would elapse before my knee would begin quacking so I went out comfortably.  Then we began climbing on Cleator road.  This was the hardest part of the race because the road felt like it would never stop climbing.  I could feel my calves getting tight, my breathing labored but a quick glance to the west revealed the shimmering Salish Sea.

After a mile I got onto the trail and the climbing didn't quit.  Three weeks of no running was definitely showing its effect because even though all the runners at this point were going about the same speed, it still felt I could've walked faster.  Nonetheless I continued the slow uphill battle until mile 4.3.

This is when the race started for me because I've got crazy mountain goat skills on downhill.  For two miles I flew down switchbacks, catching traction on the edges, and passing other racers.  I felt like I needed to make up time for that lousy climb.  I was pulling this blue shirt fellow in gradually with every switchback and I thought I was going to take him.  Once we got back on the Urb, he looked back and threw on the afterburners for the last quarter mile.  I wasn't able to muster up the 5 min/mi pace I knew would be needed so I stayed strong until the finish. 

It was a tough race but so exciting.  I'm shocked that my heart was redlining for almost the entire race.  182 bpm average with a 195 bpm spike.  This shows me two things: one, I have a strong heart; two, I need to do more long slow-distance runs. Here's my Garmin analysis.

The race results for top 20