Today's venture took me to Champoeg State Park, for the annual 30K. These days 30k sounds like a short race to me, but as far as I know, it's the longest you can find this month in Oregon. Plus, I don't want my speedier muscle fibers to atrophy too much with all this long, slow distance running. ;)
I ran this race one other time, back in 2002 in 2:13:30 - so I knew what I was aiming for. I think I was speedier then, but in better shape now. But at the start of the race we were informed that a big tree fell across the course and the course had to be re-routed as best as possible. The RD warned us that with limited bike path options, the new course came up short - probably only 5.9 miles per lap instead of 6.2. The 10k-ers all joked about setting new PR's.
The three laps were pretty steady without much of a race - I was solidly in second place for the whole thing, with a former Olympic marathon trials qualifier easily out in front and the third place woman several minutes back. And with the new course, I really couldn't even race myself and compare to my previous time. I finished in 2:03:30, which even with another mile should have put me ahead of my 2002 time. Based on my splits, I think the 5.9 may have been a little generous (my last "mile" on each lap was more like .8 of my other splits), but two people with GPS's said they got over 18 miles for the course (but not near 18.6 as it should have been) so maybe the mile marker was off just a bit.
By the last four miles the rain was coming down HARD and I was completely soaked through and a lot colder than I wanted to be, so by the end of the race I really didn't care if we were only running 28 or 29K! My original plan was to run one extra loop at an easy pace to get in some extra mileage, but even with a dry shirt and sweat pants I was still freezing and the rain was still coming down pretty hard, so I just called it a day. I basically chugged two cups of soup and chatted for ten minutes and then I was out of there. Fortunately, the awards were just ribbons so I didn't have to feel to bad for missing the ceremony. I got home and took a super hot bath (don't tell me about ice baths!) which finally got me warmed up!
photos (for the time being): http://conaghan.smugmug.com/keyword/champoeg+09-256#487033388_xYgyp
I've got four more weeks before the first "real" race this year, Peterson Ridge Rumble 60k. I am really looking forward to it - I am not sure I like running fast any more!