Of all of the Mountain Junkies events that I’ve participated in the Montvale races are my favorite. They are, as far as trails are concerned, my favorite type of terrain to run.
Last year I was ten weeks pregnant at the event for which I did the five mile option. I had just made it through my worst week of morning sickness and hadn’t run a step when we showed up that morning. I was not concerned with race times or finishing places, only with my ability to actual complete the event. I not only completed the event but I fell in love with this race, the rolling hills, switchbacks and all. This year I have been looking forward to this event because I felt like it was where I could really shine, I knew that I could do well as long as I went into the event rested and injury free.
I had three goals for this race: 1.) To run sub 90 minutes 2.) To finish in the top 3 and 3.) To place in the top 20. This was the first time I've ever set out to compete for an overall placement. I wasn't putting a lot of pressure on myself, mainly I wanted to go out and run as close to an 8:30 pace as I could.
Race morning was wet and I knew that like Explore Your Limits the course would quite possibly be muddy. It actually put me in an even better mood towards the race because I had fared well in the mud at the previous race. When I ran my mile warm-up the course was even muddier than I had imagined. All the same I was thankful for all of those wet wild Wednesday trail runs and ready to run.
The race went well. I went out faster than I normally would but I wanted to get far enough ahead to not have to worry about passing people on single track trails that were muddy. I was a little nervous about the distance and there were a few times I was worried that my pace was too fast for me to keep but I just slowed it down and took a minute or so to recover before picking it back up. Overall it was a great race, the last mile was the worst because my legs had grown a little tired and the mud was thickest through this section where all of the five miler participants had already run through. However, I made all of my goals. I finished in 1:23:53 which was good for first female and 17th overall.
Afterwards a friend who had run the 10 mile race with me went out to the Sedalia Center and ran out to meet up with Todd and run him in. By the time we got out there he only had a little over two miles to run. He did great finishing in 5:51. It was an overall great race day for our household. Looking forward to running a race or two with Todd in the near future.