I hemmed and hawed whether or not to do this race while training at 120+ miles, and wondered if I would do alright... Then I remembered, I have to!
The idea for Stowe was to race but race with a workout in mind, i.e., run conservative at 5:30 pace and ten see if you can drop to 5:15 pace. All the time being in control, fast and relaxed. Leading in I was tired and a little flat. Had two great weeks, like no other two weeks back to back, and figured an 8 mile race would be a possibility. I also really wanted to be able to say, "I won Stowe."
This is a comment that a lot of people want to say, I acknowledge their thinking, but as tired and flat as I could have been, I was going to the race to win.
It was a gorgeous day for anything other than trying to run as fast as you can for 8 miles. It was hot (as it always is) and it was humid (as it...).
At the start of the race 6 dudes jumped out in front. They all looked legit, but I didn't know any of them. I had demons early in trying to stick to the race plan before I said, "cuss it, bring it on."I could still run part of my goals of, fast and relaxed and in control...
They hit the mile in 5:02(?), and I was at 5:17, and seemed out of the race. But then guessed they had ten seconds on me after the 800, so all there time was from the start. As soon as we were past 1 mile, two if the six looked done. By 2 miles I caught the pack (running a 5:24 mile, they must have dropped a 5:40+), while one guy was still 5 seconds up, but about to come back on his own. I continued to run my race and was very relaxed as I passed him on the hill leading to 3 miles. He made no effort to stay as I kept my pace (5:15). After passing my friend Justina's house (100 meters from mile 3) and was told I had 10-15 seconds on the next person I decided to take a gamble down the hill and push a bit harder than my effort. I ran a 4:55 down the hill and continued I stretch my lead. By mile 5 I was starting to notice the heat and get a bit hot. At every water station I was Harvey-ing the waters, and taking as many as I needed (this is more of a "fun" jab at anyone who complained about my teammate) and dousing my entire being. This was refreshing, bc the long section of dirt road around mile 6 was cussing warm.
By mile 7 I finally turned around to see... Not a cussing thing, which was awesome. I was able to relax, get some composure back and finish. The last mile was a 5:48 and felt glorious to know that I didn't have to go to the well. My workout was perfect, I ended up running 5:22 pace for the whole race and felt very good.
Had an extended cool down and logged 16 miles for the day and 116 for the week.
Next stop: Mt. Ascutney