Sunday, December 2, 2007

Decker 20k: It Is As Hard As They Say.

So, I follow up a post titled 'Down Time' with well,...a race report. Guess I just cannot keep away from it. :) But this was a fun one; Well, that term is used loosely. 'Fun' as in I have been taking a few weeks not spending a lot of time training, so I could go into this one with little expectations. Did I go into it with little expectations? Of course not. Derick could tell I was all nervous this morning. I guess I could say this was the 'kick off' to start some structured training again.

It was the Decker 20k, which is put on by the Austin Runners Club here in Austin. The course is touted as being extremely challenging, which, well, it was. It was I believe east of Austin, about 20 minutes, and the entire thing was rolling from start to finish. My 'goal' today was CONTROL. I always seem to go out too hard in running races, and if I really want to complete a marathon, I have to learn to control the front end and save some energy for the middle 2/3 and the end of the race. I was very pleased with the 'control' today, granted my first mile was a 5:50 however I was trying to keep the top few women 'in sight'. And, the hills to come would surely slow that average pace so I had to roll with it when the course was 'giving it to us'.

I felt good and rather comfortable for about 4-5 miles. By the half-way point, I was in second place but I was definitely starting to feel the challenge of the terrain. I really tried to push up the hills and let myself 'roll' down them and on the flats. Just before the mile 8 marker, Derick rolled up to me and said, "Great job, Kel, she is right up there. Now's the time to stay on it, keep it strong and reel her in" (or something to that effect). I believe I mumbled back, 'dying'. Then I told myself not to think negativity. The miles continued until 10, when I saw the hill most talk about, which at that point in the race is a sizable hill. I turned to the last water station and just had about 2 miles to go. I tried to kick it up for a mile or so, then (how MEAN is this?) we had 2 more small hills before mile 12. Are you kidding me? I was able to grit my teeth and really dig deep, and by the time I came to mile 12, I was toast. But I tried so hard to hang on, as I seem to get caught @ the very end all too often. Luckily I was able to hold second place and finish in 1:20, a bit off what I had hoped but considering it was warm, muggy and a TOUGH course, I was pleased with it. Tired, but pleased.

I guess this is the start to my 2-month running block! This week I'll just focus on recovering, and of course going to see a great friend in Bend, Oregon next weekend (which I am sure will involve a lot of beer, and hopefully some running and cross country skiing, too). The rest of today will be spent doing as little as possible. :) I can say now, that I have run it, I have a lot of respect for the Decker 20k. Excellent job to Chris Kimbrough, the womens winner (who was chatting away the whole time, I heard!) and Bernard Manirakiza, who won the mens race, as well as fellow 3 Stories'ers Lance Parker (4th) and Derek Yorek (2nd). Way to go on a tough day, ya'll.