Falling Leaves 14k – Utica, NY

I was a little achy when I got up this morning. I was experiencing general overall body soreness and not really looking forward to running this morning. I was thinking maybe I didn’t have an 8.6 mile run in me today, especially through the switchback hills and was wondering if I could change it to the 3.1 mile 5k.

I felt better after a shower and was able to get my head into it. This race gets quite a few elite runners in it so I’ve never gone into it thinking I could win. It’s more of me trying to beat my time from the year before and in the 8 years I’ve been doing this race I’ve lowered my time each year. Last year I finished 5th in my age group so maybe I could try and get in on an age group award.

It was a chilly 40 degrees when I left the house but the sun was out it had warmed up a bit by the 9am start time of the race. When they sounded the horn I took off with the plan of settling into a 7-minutepace for the 1st mile. I think that was a bit optimistic as I couldn’t hold it for long, probably because that first mile is on an uphill grade. I warmed up shortly after that and was able to settle into a good pace even though the first half of the race is just one giant hill climb. Because this was my 7th race in as many weeks I was wondering what point fatigue was going to set in. I didn’t set a blazing pace through the switchback hills but I didn’t seem to fall off as much as I have in the past. I ran a little faster coming back down the hill than I normally would have. I might have gone a little too fast because my knees were sore after the race. That tells me that I was extending my legs too much coming back down the hill. My race was uneventful for the most part as all I needed to do was just run my pace. There was one point after about 7 miles where I felt I was slowing…sort of like the fatigue was finally starting to set in but I just needed to slow my breathing and I got the energy I needed to finish off the race strong.

I crossed the finish line at 1:02:46 not knowing if I’d beaten my time from the year before. I knew it was going to be close but I had to wait until I got home to check. I finished 48th overall out of 353, 4th in my age group at little over 1 minute behind the 3rd place guy. After I got home I pulled up my results from last year and I’d beaten my time by a whopping 2 seconds…lol. So the streak continues!

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