On Friday afternoon, I headed to Fleet Feet to pick up my Mountain Goat packet. This year, instead of shirts, we were given Mountain Goat backpacks. This was an interesting switch. I also received my bib.
I took Saturday off from running. I wanted to give my legs just a little extra recovery. I checked the forecast a couple of times on Saturday. As the day went on, the forecast for Sunday morning got cooler and windier. As runners know, the weather is the one thing that is out of our hands!
I got to the race pretty early on Sunday morning. It was about 45 degrees and quite windy. I jogged a little to warm up and I headed over to Clinton Square for the Strong Hearts Run Club picture. I finally made it to one on time!
I warmed up a little more and then headed over to the start. I lined up near the front and noticed that the field was extremely fast this year. Most of the fast locals were there, as well as many speedy out-of-towners.
I went through the first mile in 5:20. This was a little quicker than I would have liked but I felt pretty good. I was in 16th place and there was a decent gap in front of me and behind me. I was definitely going to be running by myself for most of the race.
My friend, Sam, was running all over to cheer for me (he was probably also cheering for Natalie, who was the third female finisher). It was a nice boost in the early miles.
The course was closed down to traffic, which was nice. It was also really well-marked… well, for the most part.
I hit the halfway mark in 28:24. This is about a minute faster than I was last year. I still felt pretty good, and at that point, I realized I was on track for a big Mountain Goat PR.
My family came and watched me despite the terrible weather, which was awesome! And this wasn’t the first race they’ve endured in lousy weather! I am pretty sure Norah has now seen five races – I can tell she is ready to stop spectating and start participating!
The winner finished in 49:46 – one of the fastest times ever on the course.
I finished in 57:21 (5:44/mile). That was good for 16th place out of 2,464 finishers. As I said above, my first five-mile split was 28:24. My second five-mile split was 28:57. The truth is, I just ran out of steam in the final mile. I had been running all alone for the entire race and turning back into the wind with a mile to go broke me. It happens.
I did a quick cooldown (as it started raining) and ordered some Strong Hearts.
I also had to endure a tough lecture from Norah on race strategy and negative splits. If you think Alberto Salazar is a tough coach…
Anyhow, that’s it! No video recap today (because it was cold after the race and I forgot). My next race will be the Cayuga Trails 50. I’m probably in the best shape of my life so I’m cautiously optimistic!
Did you race over the weekend? How did it go?
How would you feel about a race backpack instead of a race shirt?