One race down, one more race to go. I don't know why I thought I could do another combo race weekend - this time mountain biking on Saturday and trail running on Sunday. But I thought I could and I think I am paying for it now (it's Monday night now and my head hurts, my calves are sore and I've got low residual tiredness in my body).  I got home from the Warrior Creek race Saturday night 8:40 pm and was tired, really tired but I couldn't fall asleep. I think I finally went to sleep around 11 pm and woke up at 5:30 am to make breakfast before the Mountains to Sea 12 miler race. I got ready, ate 2 eggs with buttered toast (2 slices!) and the usual giant cup of chai.  Then I headed out and picked up Lisa.  We got to the Kohls and waited for the van to take us to the starting line.   It was freezing, there were too many people waiting for the vans and we ended up finally getting on one at 7:20 (we got there at 7 am).  Then at the starting line, I hurried over to get into another line for the portajohn! and it was a LONG line for 5 portajohns and it was about 7:57 when I finally got my turn (the race started at 8 am).  In the end, all three of us (met Barbara there) made it to the starting line in time and started the race.  We did a little lap around the road before entering the trail and we were slowly off.  I didn't even see Barbara (way ahead) and Lisa dropped me within the first 1/4 mile!  I was struggling the first 3 miles, my stomach hurt (two slices of bread was wrong, very wrong) and my calves were burning from the hills. 

I started feeling better after getting to the first aid station (~ 3 miles) and kept going.  There was a couple right behind me who talked and talked and I am always amazed that people can have conversations while they are running but it made me realize, we were all probably going pretty slow if they could have an all out conversation!  So I tried to pick up the pace and got far enough away from them that I couldn't hear them anymore and ended up running the next 3 miles by myself, it didn't feel like a race anymore, just me out running in the woods.  The trail was pretty nice, soft with pine needles and not very technical.  At the mile 6 aid station, I had some more water and kept on going, feeling like my pace was better.  At about 6.5 miles, I saw the first 50K runner heading towards me and just thought, damn that's a fast guy.  He even told me "Good job!".  The next 5.5 miles was me running into more 50K runners heading back to their finish line.  I overpassed 1 guy around mile 10 and then tripped on a root and fell into some scratchy bushes.  I ended up getting scraped on both legs from this fall and was glad that there was only one witness to my fall.  Nothing was broken or sprained so I got up and kept running. At about 10.5 miles, I had no energy and started feeling really tired.  I just kept plodding along though and finally finished in 2 hours and 43 minutes. I was disappointed in my finish time, I really thought the training I had been doing would have been enough to at least maintain a 12 min/mile pace but my average pace turned out to be 13:39 min/mile! I placed 205 out of 228 people.  Sigh.  I could blame it on the lack of sleep/lack of rest/mountain biking ~ 26 miles the day before but I really think I could have done better if I had trained better.  Maybe I can redeem myself next year.  After the race was over, Lisa asked me "when is our next race?", I said I didn't even want to think about another race until the fall. I think I need a break now.
Both Barbara and Lisa did great- Barbara finished in 1:57 and Lisa killed it at 2:15.  I think the hill repeats helped Lisa!

After the race was over, I went home, showered and slept for 3 hours straight. Then I got up, went to BurgerFi and enjoyed a single burger, some fries and a Chicago-style hot dog, then a parfait at Goodberrys! Yeah, I still treated myself despite my poor performance in this race :) I figured even though I was slow, I still burned an extra 1000 calories doing the race so I could be forgiven for eating a little extra.

The good things about this race:
1. Bull City Running does do a great job of organizing trail races, we got an awesome tech t-shirt and a cool pint glass for our troubles. 
2. The Mountains to Sea trail section we ran on was excellent, I loved being out there, there were many sections that run by lakes/streams and it was absolutely beautiful and inspiring to run there.
3. The post-race food was yummy: fruit/nut trail mix, bagels and cream cheese from Panera, potato chips, real Mountain Dew and Coke (the only time I'll drink sugary soda is in a long race), and coffee from Starbucks (not so much for me but I know others enjoyed it).  I think there was food at the aid stations but I didn't take any- which might have been a mistake, I probably should have had one Honey Stinger/gel but didn't.


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