Yesterday morning, I ran the 3rd race in a XC series that local university's XC team is putting on. The first 2 races were a 3K and a 5K, this one was a 6K, and the remaining two are an 8K on 7/11 and a 10K on 8/1. Yesterday's race went pretty well, much better than last week's disaster of a 5K. I didn't really have a time goal in mind since this was my first time doing the distance and Blanchard Woods is a pretty gnarly XC course (although I've been told by some that it's nothing compared to running on singletrack). I always have a good time out there, though. I won't break the race up into the miles, b/c I don't really pay attention to the mile markers at BW, too busy enjoying the scenery.
I feel like I did everything right this race. I started off about 30 seconds per mile slow because there's a hill at about the 1.25 mile mark that feels like it's never going to end. I knew that some of the folks who started out too fast would have to walk it and I could pass them there and leave them behind on the long downhill section that followed. Thanks to Chris Russell's excellent guidelines on running hills and the hilliness of my neighborhood, I've gotten quite good at going up and down hills. Some of the downhills at BW are so steep you've just gotta lean forward, relax, and let gravity take you down. After the downhill section, there's a couple more steep uphills, but they're short and my quads are huge (not from training, just from being fat for so long, haha), so I was able to power up, even making a pass on one of them.
I ended up coming in at 45:06, which is pretty consistent with the 36:46 5K time I put in there. I'm happy with that, and it gives me a number to shoot for in next year's race. No racing for me next week, but I've got the 8K at BW in 2 weeks, so I'll put in a nice long run at the canal this Saturday.
Run Long, Run Free