2012 Mill Mountain Mayhem 10k
|Elevation Profile as captured by my Garmin in the 2011 MMM|
My results history with this race has been good so far with a 53:45 for 2010, my "rookie" year, and following it up in 2011 with a 47:51. My finishing times and paces are how I view my progress as a runner, but I try to look at all angles and I do get at least some measure of satisfaction in noting that my Age Group finish place progressed from 6th out of 7 in 2010 to 1st of 11 in 2011 and that my Overall finish place progressed from 46 of 131 to 8th of 133. I hope to maintain the forward momentum across all statistics, however my main statistical focus for measuring progress is on pace, not time or place.
Pace, not time? Why is that? It's just the nature of trail events. Trail racing doesn't follow the same rigidity that usually accompanies street racing. The bulk of the courses usually stay the same, but trails change over time and so does the dynamic of the race itself. Add to that the relatively young history of these events themselves (most RNUT races have only been around for 4 or 5 years) and it is easy to see how some courses need to be altered from time to time to accommodate larger crowds, popular opinion, or perhaps just the discretion of the race directors themselves as they make tweaks to add to the whole race experience. The 2011 course was altered slightly from the 2010 course to make it slightly longer, but in doing so the Mountain Junkies created the finest visual race finish of any race I've been a part of with a descending zig-zag above eye level right before completing the course.
Another fine memory from the 2011 event was racing the section of the Star Trail from the Mill Mountain Star down to the Parkway. When I look back at all the miles I've ever ran, I look at that section of trail as the absolute most reckless racing that I've ever done. When I hit that section in 2010 I was still a much more conservative runner and prone to slow down to avoid things like twisted ankles and broken bones. By 2011 I had was hitting some kind of peak that had me feeling just about indestructible. I hit that section of trail with all its loose rock and protruding roots and practically slid down the mountain with every foot strike. I somehow managed to stay on my feet and finish the race and thought "What in the heck did I just do?" A "good" finish may come down to how daring I can be with that part of the course, lets just hope "daring" doesn't translate to "foolhardy" or "injury inducing"!
In a nut shell, I'm not really sure what happened out there today. Of course I'm going to waste several hours over the course of the next week pondering what might have caused my finish time of 49:25 at todays Mill Mountain Mayhem 10k to be slower than last years 47:51 when my recent training statistics suggest that I should have been capable of a PR. I can easily write it off as just a random less than typical day, but I tend to think it may have had been either A) lack of recovery time or B) mental complacency. Either way I still had a great time and finished in the top 10%, so I'm not going to beat myself up too much. Probably a few good baseball bat strikes to the shins will be all I need to remember to not make similar mistakes going forward.
After the initial spacing out during the first mile of asphalt, I found myself starting the 2nd mile and entering Monument Trail in about 10th place, I didn't hold back much for the 2nd mile and I passed 1 and got passed by 1 during that section. Monument Trail takes the course back to the asphalt on the "old" road going up Mill Mountain and I remember thinking "Do I want to conserve my energy or try to hold onto the leaders while I can still see most of them?" I decided to conserve energy. I knew I had some high intensity intervals in me, I just chose not to use them, thinking that a PR was all but a sure thing. I fell into a comfortable groove over the next 2 miles and just let runners pass me whenever they wanted the spot.
|About 1 mile in just before turning on to the Monument Trail.|
|Water stop crew! Includes Denise, Faith and her friend India.|
|Exiting the water stop|
|Cuttin' up a little bit.|
|40-44 Age Group Top 3|
|Shirt Back with 2011 and 2012 Age Group Medals. (Note: Please support Mountain Junkie sponsors.)|
|Shirt Front with 3rd place Age Group medal.|
Final Results: 2012-time 49:25.72, pace: 7:47/M , Place 18/185 overall,3/11 in my age group,18/116 among men
Garmin Data: HERE