Woke up alert and ready to be awake, so that was nice compared to the everyday sluggish feeling I have during the week. The plan: wake up, eat, pick Najem up, drive to Wolfboro, complete a tough 14 mile trail race, come home.
Seemed simple enough.
This would be Najem's first trail race. Haha. We were going to meet up with fellow BAA teammate Jim Johnson and I was hoping on hearing what his Rae strategy would be. Najem and I discussed on the ride up and we both had good plans. Najem's was to sit and check things out, while mine was very similar, but hang as long as I could an be competitive. Jim wanted to work together and take it to Justin Freeman.
This idea was fine by me, it was just figuring out what that would literally be. Finalizing a plan is tough for me, but I settled on hanging with the front as long as I could and if oddly good, try and make a move.
This plan was instantly aborted the first step of the race. Doing what I do best (flying by the seat of my pants) I went with an old playbook option: get out of site early; they can't see you, they can't catch you and hammer!
This really was a better option anyways. Current fitness and lack of racing lead me to just kill myself and make it a quality effort day. And that's what I did.
I took the lead an never gave it up and just pushed every step I could. I went out to pound that course like an elaborate gang handshake. The course fought back an was very tough. The mud was deep and was very tough. I was zigging and zagging all over the trail trying to find the best line and best footing. All while telling myself, "they are going to catch you, don't fall asleep, keep redlining, keep pushing..."
There were two righteous climbs with long gradual downhills to follow, which I tried to sprint when I could. This tactic lead to me being very tired the last two (insanely muddy unrunnable two miles) and having to thrash and fight through the trail.
I was fortunate to hang on and secure the win.