well i learned a lot from this race, even if i didn't win. the top three were two vt xc runners and a 30 year old man. the next four were 3 tri team members and then myself. was in a pack with 2 of the tri guys and the 30 year old man for the first 4 miles, hitting around 6:30-6:40. then the 30 year old man took off at the same time the other tri kid caught up with us. between miles 3 and 5 i felt terrible, it felt like some sort of oxygen debt kicking in. but right before the 5 mile i started feeling great, and we went through the 5th mile in 33:30, averaging a 6:42 mile. so us 4 kept a sub-7 pace through to the halfway point in christiansburg, hit the turn around and kept it up. i felt great until about mile 8, where there was a make-shift aid station set up. i didn't feel like i needed any water.. but for some reason i took some anyway. then one of the tri kids and i spent a quarter mile catching up to the other two after the station, and that's where my race just went downhill. i never really caught my breath after catching up, so for the next 1.5 miles i would fall a few meters behind and then catch back up. after doing that about 5 times, on the 6th time my legs didn't have it in them to keep up. my hamstrings were really bothering me, shoulders felt heavy, breathing was terribly irregular and labored even though i used my inhaler before starting, and mentally i was just not there, especially knowing that the xc runners had 1st and 2nd locked up. when i lost them there were three miles left, during which it got cold fast and started snowing pretty heavily. i probably dropped down to 7:30 or even 8 minute miles at one point, and finished with a strong last mile. converting the race distance, if it were an actual half marathon i would have been about 40 seconds off my pr.
all-in-all, i'm happy with my speed considering i took 10 days off during thanksgiving and was running trails with no speedwork for the majority of the week. but now it's back to 50 miler training, and i couldn't be more excited. i won't try to get my 50 miles on the week with another run tonight; i'll save it for another week. time for an awesome saturday and a lazy sunday.