NJ Trail Series Winter Race #4 Race Summary and this coming Sundays 7.2.
I started my 2013 race season on February 3rd at the NJ Trail Series last race of the winter season. My goals for the first half of the year consist of shorter races so I signed up for the 5 mile race. A five miler may not seem much of a race to the 100 miler crowd, but going hard & searing the lungs for 40 mins gets me into great shape. My form was lacking last season so I decided to go with the same plan this year. One advantage of doing the shortest race of the day (there was a 15 & 10 miles race also) was that it did not start until 10am. I still arrived way too early & watched the other racers take off for the 5 mile loop in Lewis Morris Park.
At 10, we lined up for the pre-race instructions then were sent on our way. The loop starts on the path around a pond before heading onto single track. 1 runner took the lead ahead of me on the trail. He was moving at a decent pace. I settled into my pace, deciding not to push too early to try to catch up. The course was a series of ups and downs. No big climbs but big enough to cause a burn in your lungs & legs. Snow covered the trail making footing slippery in spots.
The runner ahead built a nice lead on me. I continued on at my pace, trying to push at strategic spots. I raced on the course in December so I knew where to go hard, where to recover. My legs felt better than the last race. I started training hard again in January & lost a few pounds (that I noticed on the hills). I ran the race feeling good about my training. I finished in 39:04 in second place. I was satisfied with my run, headed home and did a few more miles with my dog. I felt like I started my season on a good note & am ready for my next challenge (Chilly Cheeks 7.2 miler on 2/24).