Anyway, I was quite happy with last Sunday's race. After a week of easy and light running, proper nutrition, and one of Lesley White's remarkably revitalizing massages , I was prepared to race. And race I did. As you know from my previous short blog, I ran almost 5 minutes faster than last year and felt incredible.
At 9:00am, a hundred or so of us toed the line at Jaycee House and took off to the rhythms of Monster Mash. It was a real Halloween experience. The scariest part was how Coo took off and was a solid 400 meters ahead of me going into Diamond Trail. I was shocked to see him go out so quickly and I knew I couldn't let him get too far ahead. I also couldn't run right on his tail or he'd be spooked and bolt. Not that I've ever been hunting, but I guess that's what it might be like. As my new Speed Cross 2 made the decent into Lynn Creek down a steep technical section I knew he would look back to see where I was so I got right up behind him and ran on his left. He had no idea I was there. Four of us bounded down the trail: Myself, Simon P., one super tall dude, and Coo. It was faster than I cared to be going, but I couldn't let Coo go. I rode his ass until the first climb and then made some wise-ass comment while I went by. We ran together for about 10 minutes and into Varley trail, but it wasn't long before we were too far apart to chat. We'd have been yelling and that would just be weird. At the Headwaters parking lot I nabbed a bottle and a well deserved Vanilla Bean Power Gel from my best girl. In need of some liquid, I hoovered back some Nuun mixed with Chia seeds and made a move up the steep climb to Mountain Highway. Again, I was moving quite quickly, but Simon ran with me step for step. Just before turning up Mountain Highway I squeezed off my gel and entered into some turn over up to Griffin Trail, where the fun began. I ripped it down the switchbacks of Griffin and Snakes and Ladders to come out at the headwaters and find Coo behind me again. He really must have hammered it. As I had finished my bottle and gel, I tossed it to Lara and took another gel with me. I figured that would get me through the race.
I knew that I had been tailing the top woman, Katrina Driver, since the start, but I hadn't seen her until this point. Two years ago I'd seen her fly by me on this section like I was sitting in a lawn chair and that's when I knew I needed to work on speed. I wasn't going to let her go this time and she made me work for it all the way to the uphill climb on the half Lynn Loop. I needed more power to get by her and my legs were doing all they could do so I bit the top off my final gel and slurped it back. That down the hatch and all I had to do was finish this thing. It was all downhill from here and just my style, rooty and technical downhill. Coming through the Gazebo my Lara told me I was in 3rd place and I was shocked. I had no previous clue where I stood at that point. I ran straight through the Mountain Madness aid station and followed Simon, Katrina, and Orange shirt guy, who I'd never seen before, down the canyon to what we call girl hill (the ascent out of Lynn Canyon to Diamond Trail). I slipped past Katrina on the uphill and I knew that wasn't the last of her. Simon and I weaved our way through the freshly cut trail and I looked back to see where Katrina was. I couldn't see her, but Simon must've read my mind because he said, "she's still back there". I knew he was right and stayed the course. Out onto Lilloet Road and the pitter patter of fast feet came up behind about mid-way through the cemetery. She was 250 meters ahead of me in no time at all, and Simon had pulled away too. I gave chase and reeled them in, but couldn't get to them before the end.
I had a great run with Simon, but I think I owe some of it to Katrina. Every time I saw her I was reminded to keep light and quick. If you've seen her run you know what I mean.
As well as running with great people I'm sure I was prepared in terms of nutrition and training. I've worked hard at getting quicker this year and thanks to Phil Green, who was first place for 40-49's in the 10k, I've begun to get there. In fact, since I got back from China I've had some incredible training partners. The Lazy Trail Runner, who is single, loves coffee dates, and has huge quads, and Kev and Linda, who have come so far since last year. They both beat last years times and Kev even rolled under two hours. So cool guys! And thanks.
That's all for now. I'm off to run the middle 30 k of the Chuckanut 50 this weekend. I'm happy to leave out the hell that it is the first and last 10k.