picture thanks to someone's facebook, hopefully they don't mind....
my buddy jason modified it slightly....
anyway, i went out to mountain mist with the mission of "winning."
honestly i knew there were probably 3 guys for whom a horrible race was still better than my best day, but the week before the race i was trying to decide what strategy would give me the best shot.
i humorously told several people at the start that i was going to start in the lead and not let anyone by me.
unfortunately this only lasted about 3/4 mile, because david riddle saw me go off the front and he is for real.
that being said, after the first couple of slight inclines i knew this was not my day. everything i would normally charge up, i was red-lining on. by 3 miles more than 10 people had passed me, and i was wondering where this day was going????
i reached the first aid station (at 6 miles) in 15th place. it wasn't a particularly slow time, but my legs were not sprightly at all. i was trying to decide what plan B should be. i kept pushing, knowing that plan B was to give it my all, even if it was a slow time.
i took it easy on the first big climb of the day, and decided i would just have to go slow for a bit and regroup. i did this, but was soon let down by the results....i had figured if brought the tach down a bit i would get in a groove and start picking people off. instead i was still getting passed! not blown off the trail, but passed none the less.
when i reached half way, someone noticed my "i'd rather be sprinting" shirt, and commented that i was moving pretty fast.....i just mumbled that "something's gotta change!"
soon there after i caught my great friend byron backer and i said, "man, i'm gonna have to eat some humble pie tonight!"
byron's response was just what i needed to hear.
"you're moving ok. you're in 17th, the others aren't that far ahead, i'd say you can catch 10 of them if you keep your head in it."
byron is the man, i've shared alot of miles with him, and the dude is just awesome. he has more experience at going out hard than anyone else i run with. and that comment was perfectly true.
i replied, "thanks for the encouragement, just gotta regroup and keep the head in it."
from there on, i wasn't floundering anymore. i still didn't have the normal legs, but i found my groove. down to the land trust and up waterline, and then mounted somewhat of an attack in mackay's hollow. by the end i had worked back to 12th, and although it was the 3rd slowest of my 9 finishes at the mist, i gotta say it was one of my better efforts. 4:53.
after spending the last 3 days in bed, i realize that my body was trying to race, and fend off illness out there on the course. i couldn't climb because my immune system was in over drive.
since barkley is the real focus, this is a little comforting, knowing that the 4:53 wasn't due to being out of shape, but probably was influenced alot by the cold that was trying to nail me.
thanks to byron i get to be happy with my effort. the more time out there and the more maturity gained, the easier it will become to regroup and keep the head in it.