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Cave Creek Trail Race (April 7, 2012)

April 13, 2012

It’s 6:15 am and I’m in a porta potty … it must be a race morning.  But that’s okay, because trail races are my version of fun.  It’s a beautiful morning for a run in the desert, with a light cloud cover and temperatures in the low 60s.  The race course, on the other hand, isn’t quite so pleasant.  Sure, the scenery is beautiful, but the course is hilly and technical.  Hills can be unpleasant, especially when they come right at the beginning of the race.  This 10k course starts immediately with a steep hill, so I make sure to get a good warm-up.  Having recently recovered from my latest running ailment, I’m not in peak form, but at least I have decent fitness from my recent cycling vacation.  None of this seems to help, so I settle into a conservative pace for the first couple of miles. I feel pretty good as the race goes on, and I begin catching quite a few people who started too fast.  But there are more hills to make sure I don’t get feeling too good.  I keep a solid pace for the middle part of the race, and try to gradually increase my pace for the last couple of miles.  To my disappointment, I can’t shed the two guys running with me, and they come around me towards the end.  I end up finishing 9th out of 87 total 10k runners (http://gallery.mailchimp.com/f2714d70873e1917192296387/files/RESULTS.pdf), so I guess that’s respectable.  My time is within a few seconds of my results from this race last year, so that’s encouraging.  Best of all, it’s just nice to be running injury free.

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