2018 Race Season Kick Off
Aliya and I ran several races ran by the Endurance Race Series here in CO. They are smaller races that have their own challenges and usually come in a 5k, 10k and 1/2 Marathon varieties. At altitude 10k is our jam. This was also the first run for me in my new age group (40-49)
The 2018 season kicked off today in Westminster and we ran the 10k. Over my birthday (End of March) we both got nasty chest colds, and as a result, there was a 2-3 week period where we didn't run, so surviving the race was the main mission for today. This is also the race we have signed up to run on at least two other occasions and then bailed the day of because it was cold and snowing. So yes, we are definitely fair weather runners. But you couldn't have asked for a better day for a run.
It was an out and back course that was much more dirt trail than we expected, it had a lot more hills too. Some were pretty intense, but there was a fair amount of up and downs. But some beautiful scenery as we ran around part of Standley Lake.
I have a odd love hate thing going with hills. I hate them, I get so tired on them so quickly, and at the same time, running hills was my favorite conditioning when I played high school football. Today I hit the hills hard, pushing up two hills at around the 4 mile and 5 mile mark that took a lot out of me. The race also ended on a hill and I have this thing where I sprint the final 50 yards or so.
I don't know if it was a combo of the amazing weather, the mindset of having a lower expectation of just surviving the outing, or what it was, but we both crushed this course, both setting PR's and finishing in the Top 10 of our respective age groups.
I ended up setting a PR of 9:22/mile at altitude and finished 7 of 19 in my age group, and Aliya was on my tail at 9:26/mile and was 8 out of 49 in her age group. We both finished ahead of more than half the overall field that was running. An unexpectedly strong outing.
One thing though that is different this race season than last year. Last year I was still in the process of building up my fitness level to where it is now. So there was a sense that I was training specifically for races. But this season we are entering after a year of solid work, including running at least 2 miles each workout for me. So maybe it shouldn't be too surprising since we both are in pretty good shape from the work we have done the last year.
Either way, solid start to the race season and we are 1 week from Broad Street in Philly. After this outing, the expectations for that race will be a bit higher.