I'd been nursing an injured foot for about a week and a half leading up to last Saturday's inaugural XTerra Trail Marathon in Cheyenne Mountain State Park. Due to the pain, I was unable to run all of last week but already had no expectations for the race, so I wasn't too concerned if I DNF'ed.
Mainly, the prospect of 3-4 months without any races planned (except for the occassional 5k) is what I've been looking forward to since Leadville. My PR at the 50 miler in Washington, D.C. a couple of weeks ago was just an unexpected surprise.
Anyway, I showed up Saturday morning, ran the first 13+ miles (wanting to quit numerous times) and decided that since it was my last big race of the year, I was going to just deal with the pain and finish. There were two noticeable, sustained climbs in each lap with the last one being especially steep, but just for a mile or so. Anyway, by just being able to run nearly every step of the race I surprisingly came in 4th place overall, after finishing the first lap in 7th place. This was the highest I'd ever placed at a race of any distance, although there was a pretty small field. My final time of 4:16xx was was only about 4 minutes from the 2nd place time and about 10 minutes from the winning time. (Just a side note, but a fellow runner's GPS showed each lap as being 14 miles. If he was accurate, this makes the relatively slow finishing times a little more understandable.)
It's a good feeling to look forward to some time off now, but I'll obviously have the bug to race again soon and will keep everyone updated here!