I conquered the mountain!–Paris Mtn 20k

Wow. I had no idea what to expect going into this race. Well, I knew a little but what I knew made it difficult to create a race plan.

This race is no joke. Take a look at the elevation profile.
Screen Shot 2011-12-03 at 12.57.51 PM

I ran the first 5 miles of the course 3 weeks ago in that group run and did not have fun on that uphill. As I described, my mind was in a bad place on the uphill and I seriously considered dropping down to the 5k. By the time I turned around I knew I had to do the race and not just run, conquer it.

Then, in the 3 weeks since the race, my runs have become faster. I didn’t know how my body would respond to the mountain with my new-found speed.

I woke up this morning ready to run but uncertain as to how it would play out.

(That’s a combination of uncertainty and sleepiness.)

I arrived half an hour early and pulled into the parking lot by the start but didn’t see anyone. After driving around a little I made my way to Timmons Arena (the 5k start) hoping to see some people. I had success. Turns out that the packet pick up (and the finish of the race) was at Timmons Arena but the 20k start was on the opposite side of campus. I definitely got a good warm up. 😀

A couple minutes after I arrived at the start line we were off.

Miles 1-3.25: I fell into a comfortable pace very quickly and was able to keep it up even after we started going up the mountain. It was a little on the slow side but that’s to be expected. I kept plodding away on the incline and even picked off several people as I just kept going.

I couldn’t believe how comparatively easy this felt. (It didn’t feel easy at all but easier than the group run.) I was thankful for the group run and knowing when I would reach the summit and have a little relief.

Miles 3.25-7.5: These miles felt wonderful. I felt strong and I absolutely fell in love with the course. The views were beautiful too. I knew that something “interesting” was coming up in miles 8 and 9 because I overheard someone mention that on the walk over.

Miles 7.5-10: That something “interesting” was a street called “Dreamland”. Seriously. That was the name of the street. This street consisted of several short but comparatively steep declines and inclines. They just kept coming. I felt a little prepared but couldn’t wait to turn off this street. The water station right at mile 10 was timed perfectly. I took the water and walked while I ate 4 chomps. (much harder to do when they’re chilled.)

Miles 10-12.4 I’d glanced at my Garmin so I knew my pace was much faster than I had even dreamed. (My goals in order were finish, 3 hours, 2:30, 2:15) There were a few unexpected hills in this portion but I got really excited when we turned onto Old Buncombe because I knew that Duncan Chapel Road was down hill. Turns out I forgot that after the steep downhill it’s reversed a couple tenths before the turn off onto Furman. That was just cruel.

Here are my splits:
Screen Shot 2011-12-03 at 1.21.12 PM

Take a look at that finish time. I am so thrilled by it! I’m also already planning to run this race again next year and I want that sub 2 hours. 😀

This recap wouldn’t be complete without a picture of the “horns” I earned by completing the race.

I don’t know where I’m going to put it but there’s no way I’m getting rid of this. 😀

Next up? Hilton Head Jingle Jingle 5k in 2 weeks. I’m going for a PR. (eek!)

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6 Comments

Filed under race recaps, running

6 responses to “I conquered the mountain!–Paris Mtn 20k

  1. Wooo Hooo A Viking prize, awesome. Those horns need a place of honor! 😀

  2. great job lady!! that elevation chart had my eyes bugging out of my skull.

  3. Viking horns for a fierce battle indeed! Wow that elevation is crazy. I’m a wimp when it comes to hills.

  4. Pingback: Run Resolved Half Marathon Week 4 | Stepping Out

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