Saturday, May 5, 2012

2012 Trail Nut 10k / RNUTs 5 of 6


     "Just have fun with it." Thats the expression that gets used frequently among us race types. It usually implies acknowledgement of a less than ideal situation in which to target a peak performance at a specific racing event. From Feb 12 2012 to Apr 21 2012, while I was training for the Blue Ridge Half, every run I did was a link in the chain leading up to a targeted peak performance. I love knowing that I can control my intensity levels with specialized training, but not all races fall in with a training cycle. The Trail Nut 10k and Half Marathon has consistently been one such event.

     As with 2011, the Trail Nut race is falling in to my race schedule during my recovery cycle from the Blue Ridge Half. Fortunately, that doesn't mean I have to go out and just participate with a "just finish" goal. Not that there is anything wrong with "just finishing", but I enjoy competing with more concrete goals.The Trail Nut race has 2 courses...a 10k and a 1/2 Marathon...I've done each course once, the 10k in 2010 and the Half Marathon in 2011...for 2012 I've decided to go back and beat my 2010 time of 55:31.

The Event

Doing my warm ups. Mostly channeling inner strength.
     I went into it with less than ideal circumstances, but I gave it all I had and ended up surprising myself. This course is mostly characterized by rolling hills with a few steep, but not long spots. The near constant up and down nature of the course meant constant adjustments to my stride and was exhaustive. Add to that my running has been recovery based with just a few short 4 milers in the past 7 days and a full 5 day break before that and then factor in the 50 miles of cycling yesterday with rather poor nutrition choices I made in the past 24 hours and it should be easy to see that I was digging DEEP to get every spot in this one.

     A slight drizzle started shortly before race start and ended after about 10 minutes. Just enough to keep the dust down. Their had been some rain the night before and earlier that morning, but the trail had held up good to it and I only noticed one spot that had to be navigated around.

Plenty of room at the line.
And were off!
     The start line was generous with space and those of us who were confident enough to hold a strong initial pace had no trouble getting close the line. After about 1/4 mile in I established 2nd place and held it for about 2 miles. First place had pulled out of sight by the end of the first mile, and I could hear runners close behind me, but I wasn't going to break my stride to look back and see how close they really were. 
     At about mile 2.5 I had spent my fast gear and slowed down enough to give up 2 spots. That meant I was in 4th and guaranteed a masters spot if I could hold it. I wanted to slow down further, but I could still hear footsteps behind me, so I held a pace that was just above comfortable for as long as I could.

      At roughly mile 4 I could hold it no longer and had to yield the spot. It was good fortune for me though that it turned out to be the first place female! I still had the 1st place master spot! Then in an odd twist of fate 2 of the men in front of me ended up taking a wrong turn and had to double back. I was now 3rd overall and 2nd place male!

     I took no pleasure in capitalizing on a fellow racers misfortune, but I had to play the cards I was dealt. I tried to squeeze my fuel reserves and reestablish a surge, but my high intensity fuel rods were spent. All I could do was keep things at a faster than comfortable pace. 

     Around mile 5 they both managed to pass me back. I was happy for them. They had earned those spots. I was losing steam fast, and I still had a mile to go. I couldn't hear anyone behind me, but I knew better than to take it for granted, so I dug into my emergency reserves and managed to cruise on to the finish without any further passing.

     My primary goal of beating 2010's 55:31 was achieved by a substantial block of just over 7 minutes with a 48:28. Picking up my first Masters Award at a trail race was just icing on the cake! I do have a couple of 3rd place overalls, which are higher awards, but I just like having a masters award...maybe its the way a "1st" on a plaque just looks more prestigious than a "3rd". I dunno, but it was a great race with high caliber people and well directed by the Mountain Junkies.
Took a few moments to set up and play with my new birthday present. A Gibbon Jibline.

Shirt back-Please support Mountain Junkie Sponsors
Shirt front + Award!
     Final Results:  Trail Nut 10k Garmin Data: HERE
2012-time 48:28.83, pace: 7:45/M, Place 5/111 overall, 1st Place Master, 4/47 among men


  1. Good run man. I was one of the 2 that made the wrong turn. We were all haulin booty. And a 6:10 first mile...ooops. :-)

    1. 6:10...incredible! I couldn't hold that pace, but I'm a "fly n die" sort in that I never start out too quick, but sometimes I do fade too early. Yall went back and still surged ahead to the original spots. Thats awesome. I couldn't fully comprehend what happened, but I was confused at one point myself, fortunately I was in a group so it was just follow the leader.

  2. Thanks! It was a thrill. I know some super fast guys did the half and that kinda set me up for a solid overall place finish, but it was a solid run on a tough course. I couldn't be happier. Looking forward to reading about yours...I'll head over to dm right now actually...