This past Saturday was the first race in the local Winter Distance Series in Colorado Springs and so I decided to incorporate the 10k+ into my long run for the day. For January in Colorado, you couldn't have asked for better conditions, with temps in the mid to upper 40's during the race.
Since I rarely race distances shorter than a marathon, I was curious to see how I'd stack up against the competition this early in the year and really wanted to give it my all and redeem myself after an embarrassing 10k on New Years day (aka The 2010 Hangover Run). Even in hindsight, I can honestly say I prefer running a difficult marathon course to a 5 or 10k at 100% intensity the entire time.
The details: This race was almost exclusively on the trails I raced the XTerra trail marathon on in August (Cheyenne Mountain State Park) but time apparently clouds our memories, and I completely forgot how challenging the course was. That being said, my heartrate hit redline within the first 1/4 mile of the race and rarely dipped below this level for the whole 6.7 mile course. In the end the effort was worth it and good for a 9th place finish out of 260+ runners. My time was 50:09 which might seem slow for a 10k, but to put it in perspective, the winning time was just under 45 minutes... normally on a road course, times in the 30-32 minute range aren't uncommon winning times.
To make my long run for the day I tacked on an additional 13 miles running home from the race, and 4 more that evening doing the Incline. When all was said and done it was about a 23-24 mile day...
... the effort definitely took a greater than normal effort on my lungs as I coughing violently all day Saturday and part of the day Sunday (abnormal for me), and there was quite a bit of blood in my mucous. I don't know the cause of this, but it's happened to me a handful of times in the past and usually dissipates in a matter of a couple days. I'm not in pain and even though there is still a hint of red in my mucous, I'm sure this is going to clear up in a day or two.
Anyway, I guess that's just another day in the life of a CF athlete!
One more short race before Rocky Raccoon 100 on February 6th. Needless to say, my training intensity will be high the next couple of weeks..