Sunday, December 3, 2017

Mount Monadnock Hike

I've always had an appreciation for mountains. They tower above us, asking to be climbed. And hitting the summit is always a breathtaking moment (unless there's an auto road, which ruins everything as the tourists have an easy route to clog up the summit). Mount Monadnock had been on my bucket list for over a year. It was the tallest mountain within several hours and when I got my license last year, I seriously considering doing it during the summer. Alas, I was lazy during the summer and never got around to it, something I will have to make sure not to do next year. With time off from running, thanksgiving weekend seemed like the perfect time to go- no interference with training and a whole two days after to still enjoy. I managed to rope in Sam and Sebastian into going, making the whole experience many times better.

It was about a 2.5 hour drive up, which was actually relaxing as there weren't too many people out and I had company. Got there around 10AM, excited for the hike. It seemed really cold and I wore several layers that I never would normally. I was surprised to find a $15 charge for parking and nearly all facilities closed at the bottom (including restrooms, although there were porta-potties).

We begun our ascent, planning on taking White Dot and White Cross back, the most common route. I had looked at several other places including Dublin Peak and Bald Rock and was still considering them if either looked great. I initially disliked trail as it was very difficult yet somewhat boring. It climbed a steep grade but offered no scenery. After a mile or so of difficulty, we finally started some more enjoyable climbs up more rocky terrain and got above the treeline. The rest was absolutely fantastic.

We begun the second half, climbing almost solely on rocks with much better views. It was strangely much easier than the first half as well. It was really exciting when the summit came into view, yet was still very far away. Getting closer and closer to the summit only became more and more exciting as it got colder and the views got better. The summit itself was really cool, but had more people than I would like and was quite frigid. We didn't stick around long and begun the descent.

Along the way, we decided to take the smith connector trail to bald rock. This was a pretty fun trail that went through the woods often and Bald Rock offered a nice view of the summit. Cliff Walk down to lost forest was a similar trail and also enjoyable traversing on rock. The last mile was pretty boring as I was fairly tired at that point, and my lower body was aching in several places. Additionally, the trail finally went under treeline and simply felt like any other ordinary trail. Before hitting the parking lot, we went along a small body of water that had a great view of summit far above.

In total, we gained 1800 over 4.8 miles. It was definitely a great experience and I would love to come back, perhaps for a run on the Pumpelly trail. It seems like there was an abundance of trail that would take several visits to fully explore.

On the way back, we stopped by Purgatory Chasm state reservation in Sutton, MA. It was right off the highway on the way back and was another place on my bucket list based on great reviews it had. It was neat to see the massive rock formation form the chasm and several other places with climbing, but was obviously was nothing compared to Monadnock.

I took plenty of photos and video footage, the latter of which I created a 40-minute video on the experience. It came really shaky so I apologize for that. I filmed a lot, so there might be some weird scenes in there.

Mileage since States/Update

Okay, I posted all of my weekly logs from where I left off as a few people requested. Once, I start running again I plan to start actually having an update blog. I lost nearly all the enthusiasm I had for running at States and running arguably worse at New Englands didn't really help. (Although I honestly think things were physically wrong at New Englands whereas at States I just felt extremely off). If things weren't bad, New Englands made my ankle pain from a small, lingering problem to not being able to walk. I've been going to physical therapy for the past few weeks and haven't done any regular running since but the physical therapy was optimistic that I could start regular training in 2 weeks. I'm not looking forward to indoor at all, as it just feels like a long grind of season, constantly training in brutally cold weather and racing all time, most of the time late at night (or at least after its dark). My only goals this season are to run a fast 3K/5K. If I got dead last at states in all my events but I managed to run sub-8:30/sub-15 in the season, it would still be a successful season. Time had always been much more important to me than place, especially in a few meets. Besides a few races each year, I don't think place really matters.

Since states, I've been doing a lot of getting fat and not exercising very much. Having some time off feels nice, but I feel ready to get back to at least some running. On the bright side, not being able to run opened up the time to do a day trip to hike Monadnock with some friends, which was so much fun that it nearly made up for the disappointment of not running well at states. I plan to do a post on it very soon as well as a solo hike I did yesterday in sleeping giant state park. Here are my weekly mileage estimates for the past few weeks:

Weekly Log: November 6 to 12 (New Englands)- 25 Miles, YTD Total: 2,052
Weekly Log: November 13 to 19- 0
Weekly Log: November 20 to 26- 2 (Treadmill at Physical therapy), YTD Total: 2,054
Weekly Log: November 27 to December 3- 7 Miles, YTD Total: 2,061

Finally posted my final XC result in my schedule. I'll post my indoor one once I start racing again.

States- Weekly Log: October 30 to November 5

The end of my hs XC career is basically with perhaps the most important race of all four years. Going for good position and under that 16 minute mark.

Monday: 6 Miles

No school, so just did a regular distance run from home. Felt pretty terrible as everything was stiff/heavy (days off seem to be actually worse than post-workout/post-race days) and I guess I didn't eat right because my stomach had quite a bit of distress, causing me to rush to the nearest bathrooms.

Tuesday: 7 Miles

5xNarragansett. Didnt feel very good but put in a solid effort. Fastest pace on any hill workout ever. Difficulty: 3/5

Wednesday: 8 Miles

Local but crappy loop. Not a good run; entire lower body felt stiff, heavy, tight and just off. On the bright side, initial and worrying ankle pain wasn't a problem.

Thursday: 5 Miles

I don't remember what this was. We did some track workout.

Friday: 5 Miles

2x400 @65 w/90s recovery followed by an all-out 400 that felt terrible in 57 and I was destroyed by several teammates which wasn't fun.

Saturday: 5 Miles

Shakeout. Felt unexpectedly heavy but tried not to think about it.

Sunday: 8 Miles

State Meet. I wasn't whether to just stop posting here or whether to write a more in-depth recap. Since I have a huge post all typed up from a month ago, I guess I'll post. Now I'd probably have no interest in revisiting this day by writing about it but since I already have it written, it's right here.

Breaking Down the Worst Race of My Life
Cross Country States was a complete disaster. If I didn't make first team I probably could still eked out a respectable finish but there were no positives to this terrible performance, my worst finish and time at the state since freshman year. I've had bad races in the past, one that I've been disappointed in, ones that I've called "worst race of my life", but this year's states tops them all by a gigantic margin. I was 8th at States last year, which was really disappointing because I thought I was capable of top 3. To make matters worse, I did not bounce back at New Englands, finishing a disappointing 48th when I was looking to make my first all-new england team by placing top 25. Last year's terrible finish has haunted me ever since, yet this year was many times worse and I can only imagine the magnitude at which this performance will disturb me in the future. Normally, when I have a bad race I write a quick recap about it before never mentioning it again, but I have never more devastated by the one I have run recently.
I ran 16:05 at the class meet, the top time across all classes. My time would have placed me 2nd at states. The race went out fast, but would have been to my liking- one runner broke away from the rest just past the mile but struggled towards. Had I hung with him and made a move I could have potentially taken the win. All I needed was break 16, something I should be capable of, yet have failed to do repeatedly in my XC career.
I suppose at some point in this negative ramble I should talk about my race. Things were off from the moment I woke up. My legs were oddly very sore, and I felt especially when I when extended my legs fully. I tried not to worry about and get ready for my meet. The time went by very quickly and soon we were on the line. I felt slightly off but worse than I had before other good races so I tried my best to put the thought of that aside. After the gun went off, we absolutely rocketed out. It felt extremely uncomfortable, but I managed to get a solid position by the first. The rest of the mile only began to feel worse and worse as the pace felt so fast. An unexpected contributing factor to this discomfort was the noise. Everyone's combined yelling was simply too much to bear. By the time I hit the mile mark, I could still see the leaders but I wasn't feeling very good and there were just so many people around me. Going up Indian Hill felt terrible as usual. I knew the race wasn't going great at that point, but was hoping to make some placements on the downhill. I was surprised to see Nik Reygadas in the back with me and was wondering if he was having trouble too. I passed him yet he passed me back shortly after. I managed to pass some on the downhill but I hadn't gotten many and when it levelled off, pretty much everyone passed me back. I passed another top runner, Elijah Akindolie who was almost certainly struggling. When I went through 2 mile in 10:30, I knew my race was pretty over. When I heard I was in 25th, it really started to set in how terrible I was doing. I wish I could tell you I woke up and kicked into another gear, managing to pass 15 people and still get 2nd team all state, but I didn't. After feeling absolutely terrible for 2 miles, the third would feel even worse. There was nothing there in the last 1200. I might've passed one or two people, but only because they were struggling as well. Finished in a heartbreaking 23rd place, 16:47.
It was pretty much instantly that my terrible performance set in. I went from a contender for the win to not even all-state. I barely made new englands. I was hoping to break 16 before the meet and barely broke 17. My team had a shot at making new englands and because of my terrible performance we're not going. Had I placed 6th or higher we would have made it. People tell me to move on, but I just can't. I run bad times before. I run bad places before. But I combined the two here, my senior year at one of my final cross country races, one that I had a legitimate shot at winning. I absolutely blew it on the highest of stages, not only for me but for my team as well.
Of course I want to bounce back at new englands. But it'll be hard with this haunting me. I'd like to figure out what went wrong, so I made a list of potential factors.
1) Overtraining: For the most part I like how training goes, but I definitely feel we dont rest up for meets and while I normally haven't a problem with it recently, Friday's workout could be the sole reason I finished 23rd instead of 1st on Sunday. We worked Tuesday and Thursday and while neither of them felt great they didnt feel any worse than worse than normal and I continued on fine the next. On Friday we did 2x400 @65s w/90s recovery before an all-out 400. The two fast 400s were okay, but the all-out 400 hurt. Not was I defeated handily by 3 of my teammates, but it just did not feel good. After just 150m, I couldn't keep pace and in the last 150m my legs tightened and I slowed significantly. I felt terrible on the cooldown. On saturday I tried to roll and stretch out my heaviness and sunday I woke up very sore (but not heavy or tight) which is a first. I dont know why everyone else still managed to run well Sunday or why I responded the worst to it, but I am almost certain the all-out 400 played some hand in my performance on Sunday.
2) The Extra Day

I've heard many times "Don't do anything different before a race" and having the race day on Sunday made everything different. I sat around a did very little Saturday, getting much more sleep than usual, and eating a lot of pasta. This also gave me much more time to think about the race and in turn be more nervous.
3) The Pressure

XC states is always a nerve-wracking, being on a Sunday and facing every distance runner in the state at the same time. This year, it was my final time. I needed a great race to make save this from being a mediocre season and to have a great XC state meet to make up for last year's poor one. This was my last chance to make first-team all-state and after the class meet I felt that I could make a run for the title. Not only did a need a great race at the highest level, it seemed that everyone was constantly reminding me of this. At class, I got a lot of positive attention for running well but hated how I got the spotlight now and was being hyped up for states. Throughout the week, different people who worked at the school told me I could run 15:40 and I had a shot at winning. Also, it seemed like a unreal amount of people were going and would be watching me there. Perhaps the most pressure was when my coach told me minutes before race "No believes you can win today. But I do". All of this combined for a colossal amount of pressure that made me hate the race before I even started it.
4) The Fast Start

I don't know whether the start was actually fast or not but it certainly felt that way. I was immediately uncomfortable and felt like I was pushing the whole time. Whether it was that or other factors that ultimately led to me feeling terrible for the majority of the race, I dont know.
I didnt dog the race, but things once again did go my way. I have to live with this for now. Being call up to stand in front of everyone as 23rd place was one of the hardest things I've done. Sunday might go down as the worst day of my life. For now, I can only look ahead and hope for great things at New Englands.

Weekly Total: 44 Miles
YTD Total: 2,027 Miles

Class- Weekly Log: October 23 to 29

With Championship season here, the pressure is on. I haven't done a whole lot this season but now is the time to forget about the past and do my best to produce strong efforts. At this point, sub-16:10 would be solid.

Monday: 8 Miles

End of UNH official visit. Ran with a couple team members on a seemingly nice loop (except a busy road at the end). Felt really good and said bye to the ankle pain.

Tuesday: 6 Miles

Hill workout: 1 finger, 3xnarragansett. Ankle wasn't as good as the previous but still a major improvement over the previous day and I was able to complete with a strong result. Fastest hill workout ever (average pace) at 5:48/mile. Was able to keep going strong (mostly) through heaviness. Difficulty: 3/5.

Wednesday: 5 Miles

Had to go in early morning because of a math meet later that would occupy all of my time in the afternoon. Oddly had quite a bit of pain in morning, nearly giving up but decided to give it a shot and was surprised running felt much better than walking. Still felt fairly uncomfortable and was only getting, so cut it pretty short.

Thursday: 7 Miles

Track workout, but nice and easy. 4x800 @2:30 w/2 mins rest, 5 min break, then 3x400 @71s w/2 mins rest. Practice was right after school, so was missing a boost of energy that I usually get from a pre-run snack. 800 started out pretty solid, but made the mistake of ramping it up after the first one. Got through the 800s just fine, but strangely the 400s which should have been very easy (long recovery, splits not particularly fast) got to me and I was feeling it at the end. Difficulty: 3/5. Don't remember exact splits but 800s ranged from 2:24-2:28 and 400s 67-70s.

Friday: 8 Miles

Tried to take it easy and cut a mile off with the big race on Saturday. Started off really smooth but like Wednesday as I went on, everything got worse. Ankle never really hurt, but became more uncomfortable and was pretty stiff at the end, as well as my thighs being very heavy. Strides felt a little better so that was encouraging.

Saturday: 8 Miles

Class B Championships. After an absolutely terrible wait (got there at 10:30, raced at 2:45) in the heat, it was finally time to go. Didn't feel great, both kinda weak and with heavy legs plus I was very nervous about the pressure to have a strong race. My coaches wanted me to sit back and make a move in the back half, but I was nervous about the whole thing. Conor Murphy was the biggest threat as he's been running very fast this season and I didn't think I could beat him.

The first mile was okay. After getting out, I was in second behind Conor with many close behind me. I let Conor get out a little and was about 5 second behind him when I went through the mile in 5:01. Going up Indian Hill (short steep ascent) felt absolutely terrible and he added to his lead while others chipped away on mine. I really wasn't feeling good at this point, thinking about dropping out, but the downhill was enough to get myself more relaxed and back in the race. I never really felt good enough to think about making a move and felt like everyone was catching up to me when I heard people yelling other's names. Somehow, no one caught me and Conor was very slowly coming back to me. Went through 2 miles in 10:15, which seemed a little slow but I wasn't worried about that at the time. The gap really started to cut down going back uphill and suddenly after going back down Indian Hill we were neck and neck. Pretty much the whole race I had been settling for second, but now it seemed like a real race. I was still fairly tired and didn't have much energy to do anything. I was content to run neck and neck for the rest of the race, possibly losing in the end. My coach yelled at me "Don't Wait" and someone else yelled "1000 meters to go, Matt. The race is won here". This gave me the extra push and motivation I needed to take the lead and really go for it. I got, but was worried Conor was right there. After going out the woods, I didn't have a whole lot left and was just preparing to get passed back. I tried to keep pushing but just didn't feel like I had enough of a gap and that I would be run down. As I rounded the final turn, somehow still in the lead, my coach yelled out "Stay relaxed". That seemed really strange, as I was about to be outkicked and now was the only time not to be relaxed, but as I could look back towards the way I came I saw that I did have a decent gap. I was still really nervous I would be run down but managed to take. Coming down the final stretch, I thought for sure I would break 16, but was just outside, running a season and course PR of 16:05.47. At the beginning on the season, winning the class title was something I wanted for sure, but with my slower times I didn't think it would happen. Really happy to make this breakthrough in the postseason, but am still focusing on the road and am hoping for something even better at the state meet.

Sunday: 0. Day off for trashed body.

Weekly Total: 42 Miles
YTD Total: 1,983 Miles

Weekly Highlight: Finally seeing everything come together by winning the class B meet in a decent time too.
Weekly Lowlight: Being nervous about potentially being injured.

Weekly Log: October 16 to 22

This week brings the East Bay Challenge, a fairly hilly course yet one I ran a PR last year with a CR of 16:01.

Monday: 10 Miles

Extra mileage was unintentional, but wanted the chance to explore both the campus lakeside bikepath and Wisconsin's renowned XC course. Both were really nice. The lakeside were incredible as well as having a small path out to picnic point and getting to try out a college XC course and run on smooth grass field was enjoyable as well. I also liked the state of Wisconsin much better than that of Illinois.

Tuesday: 7 Miles

Tried something different by heading over to Bradford preserve rather than the track. This was really nice and made the workout much more enjoyable. We ran 2xMile @4:55, followed by an 800 at 2:30. Rest was 2 mins in between the miles, 5 mins in between the mile and the 800. It felt okay- definitely fast and tiring but never brutal. Splits: 4:52/4:55/2:20. Difficulty: 3/5.

Wednesday: 9 Miles

Chose a route in springbrook. Felt mostly good besides being somewhat uncomfortable in my ankle. Felt like a solid shakeout that didn't overdo anything before Friday's race.

Thursday: 7 Miles

East Bay Challenge. Last year I ran the best race of the season, breaking the course record in 16:01 on a fairly hilly course (around 250ft gain). This year I ran my worst race of the season, the only bad one to date. Having last year's race be so great really ramped the expectations for this year. All seasons there had been the important meets to think about, and one of my biggest expectations was to go out and destroy the course, just like I did last year running around 15:45. After some slower times this season, I had to revaluate and was just hoping to be near what I did last year.

I thought I had the win in the bag, but was surprised when Chariho hammered it out and I found myself in third for the first mile. My legs weren't functioning; I already felt tired and was doubting myself. At mile, a very slow 5:14, they let up quite a bit and passed them before immediately opening up a gap. After going through such a slow split yet feeling like it was a hard mile, I didn't think the time would be very good, but I wasn't until I crossed the line in 16:26 where the disappointment set in. 25 seconds off last year's time in my last opportunity to run fast on this course. As one of the meets I really cared about this year, it was pretty heartbreaking to run so terrible in what should have been a major performance for me. After not running well here, it was hard to see this season as anything but a failure.

Friday: 9 Miles

I thought Thursday was just an off day as I had felt great in nearly every practice and meet this season, a huge change from last year but this distance run was far from enjoyable. Besides the regular stomach stress, heavy thighs and stiff feet, my ankle was hurting and unlike some other recent the pain stayed. Wasn't too worried, but wasn't thrilled with this new possible injury.

Saturday: 1 Mile

Went for the regular warm-up on the track after my ankle pain had escalated to the point where walking was painful, the run was many times worse. Did the warm-up but after talking to my coaches, I had to sit the workout out and take the rest off.

Sunday: 0 Miles

Took an official visit to UNH but really annoying that my ankle was still hurting quite a bit to the point where I had to take another 0. Felt better moving around later, which was encouraging but decided to stick to my earlier decision.

Weekly Total: 43 Miles
YTD Total: 1,941 Miles

Weekly Highlight: Running in Wisconsin was an enjoyable treat and diversion.
Weekly Lowlight: End of the week really just did not go my way. After a bad race, I picked up a new injury that kept me out for two days and worried me that it may be more.

Weekly Log: October 9 to 15

This week will not be fun with a couple track workouts and my least favorite meet, the avenger invitational at the awful east Greenwich course.

Monday: 7 Miles

Burlinggame wander on a full stomach. Felt pretty terrible the whole time.

Tuesday: 7 Miles

A return to the track, but not an enjoyable. Absolutely brutal workout. 4x600 @1:40 (67s/400m) w/2:00 rest followed by 2x1000 @2:55 (70s/400m). The first was decent, but after that it all went to hell. I didn't get any of my splits, but the pace was never consistent. I believe I hit the times for the first half of each set and was slightly off for the second. The 600s started out good, became difficult and the last couple were tough. Adding the extra was painful. The first 1K was a long slow grind. I felt weak early and it was pain to keep going. The second one went by quicker but I felt much worse. Difficulty: 5/5. Hard track work, especially in the heat is never fun.

Wednesday: 9 Miles

Decent run around town. Legs trashed for the previous days and paced dropped in the middle.

Thursday: 7 Miles

Avenger Invitational. Wasn't thrilled to go here as I'm not a huge fan of the EG course, but accepted it and still wanted to crank out something decent. The last couple had turned around things and I wanted to keep the streak going with a fast time, hopefully under 16. I was a little nervous about potentially having some stiff competition, but ended up facing more mid-distance runners.

The start was horrible and I ended up behind many people because they decided to start with telling us they were going to start and used a small horn rather than a real gun. I quickly adjusted and made way to the front, trying my best to build up an early lead. I felt fairly smooth on the field and going through mile 1 in 5:04. After that, the legs were just feeling dead and while I really wanted to hammer it, my legs had nothing which slowed the pace a bit. My lead never seemed that big and I was nervous I would be run down, but it was enough to hold on. I ended up finishing 1st in 16:18. I wasn't disappointing, but it wasn't a great race so I wasn't thrilled either. I attributed the slow time to my legs and was hoping for better outcomes in the future.

Friday: 7 Miles

Dropped a couple off to recover from the previous day, which was nice but didn't feel necessary. Short local looping. Felt strangely great.

Saturday: 7 Miles

Another hill workout, this time a return to the forrestal neighborhood. We had 3x(Forrestal/Midway). I felt trashed/heavy early and tried my best to push through it, but it didn't feel great. Difficulty: 4/5.

Sunday: 9 Miles

Ran in Illinois' rock cut state park en route to University of Wisconsin. Pretty nice place, did a big loop around a pond that combined grass, pavement and dirt trail, both single and double. Was not impressed with Illinois as a whole (my first time to either IL or WI), but was with the size of this place and the well-maintained fields/trails.

Weekly Mileage: 53 Miles
YTD Total: 1,898 Miles

Weekly Highlight: Having a nice change in pace by running in Illinois.

Weekly Lowlight: The workouts. Things didn't come together this week and they were a struggle.

Last Home Meet and Wickham Park- Weekly Log: October 2 to 8

As I close my dual meet season, I have higher hopes for Tuesday as it's sub-16:40 or bust. I will disappointed not to break the CR, but not sure I will be able to run that fast. At the end of the week, some fun meet at Wickham trying out a new course.

Monday: 8 Miles

Pretty tired cruising around town. Legs did not feel great.

Tuesday: 8 Miles

Final home meet. Felt like graduation as this was my first senior night and I was told by my coach "It's been a pleasure coaching you". Strange. Felt very good pre-race and determined to break my CR, but wasn't sure if I'd have the mental push to do so.

There wasn't much competition here, so I knew I was on my own. I felt a little more comfortable not having to contend with others up front, but didn't know if that would hurt me. We went out fairly hard on the field, but it didn't feel that great. My teammates were surprisingly close, so I thought I was slow. I never got any of my mile splits and my time was a guessing game throughout the race. Once we turned into the woods, I opened up a big gap immediately and started to feel smooth. The entire loop went by in no time. The uphills were okay, but I made sure to press on the upper field and on the downhills. The downhills felt fast and more controlled than normal. I was already finishing up. I felt great, but it didn't seem like the time would be fast. I did my best to hammer the final quarter mile and ended up finishing in 16:36, a 4-second improvement and by far my best race (and only great one) this season. Was very happy with this result. Finished southern division champ, team qualified for states.

Wednesday: 9 Miles

East ave/cemetery mix. Felt mostly good but legs were somewhat tired.

Thursday: 6 Miles

Difficult field street workout, 6 repeats. Tried going a little slower which helped on the first couple, but did end up losing a lot of energy/strength towards the end. This was a grind, but I managed to hold my own, breaking my personal best average pace on the hill and staying fairly consistent throughout. Difficulty: 4/5.

Friday: 9 Miles

Enjoyable mix of roads that went by quickly. Felt really good.

Saturday: 7 Miles

Wickham Park Invitational. While I was excited to run this course, the heat sapped all of my energy and enthusiasm immediately. It was 80+ degrees with open sun, absolutely brutal temps for October. It did slightly calm down by 3:25, the time of my race but became very humid and was still highly unpleasant. The course looked amazing, smooth with the perfect combination of fast grass, trail and good hills. The hills were supposed to be tough, with a good 300+ ft elevation gain over 5K. I figured a time in the 16:30-16:50 range would be decent.

The races were huge, and mine had around 200 people in it. This made the start difficult and very fast. I knew I'd have to get out and as I've struggled with that this season, I wasn't looking forward to it. The initial takeoff wasn't great, but I quickly maneuvered myself to the front and found myself co-leading with a couple other guys. I ran in second, a couple meters back from another runner. It was uncomfortable at first, with the early pace being so fast and I allowed a couple other guys to go by me. I remained slightly behind the lead pack. The first loop hill was fairly easy and I enjoyed running the downhill on a very smooth and well-maintained wide trail after. We came back out onto the original field, looped around before facing "The Green Monster". The hill itself was almost a joke. It took less than a minute to run up, I passed one guy and quickly regained my energy at the top. We went through two miles shortly after, and while I was starting to tire my coaches yelled at me to catch the lead pack and it was then that I realized I could potentially win the race. I didn't catch up right away, but slowly closed the gap and wasn't far behind. In the last 800, I was in 4th. I realized it was time to make a move and while I initially struggled to get past people, I put in surge to pass until 2nd. The top guy had more of a gap and I wasn't able to touch him. The final 50 meters had a good incline and I was edged at the line, placing third in 16:37.

This felt like a solid race on a very fun course. Possibly the best XC course I have ever run.

Sunday: 10 Miles

Woody Hill mix w/Dad. First sunday run in a while, but happy to hit a good mileage for the week.

Weekly Total: 57 Miles
YTD Total: 1,845 Miles