I signed up for this one last minute. The goal was to have a good time and to finish without hurting myself. I managed to do just that. With a finish time of 1 hour 46 minutes, I ran it 20 minutes slower than last time, but that's ok. My mantra for this year is to enjoy every mile run without any regard for pace or PRs. I want to stay healthy. I figure a year at easy pace will allow me to do just that.
I arrived at the race with 20 minutes to spare, enough time to pick up my race packet and chat with Benj and Cary and some other folks I hadn't seen in a while. It had been raining heavily the days prior, so we all knew it was going to be muddy, but I don't think anyone was prepared for just how muddy it really was. Actually, muddy was an understatement. Half of the course was literally under water.
It was a lot of fun to watch folks try to avoid the water and puddles for the first 2 miles. By then, every single runner realized that there was no way to avoid it and started to finally just plow through it. I used this opportunity to use my awesome Christmas present from my wife (GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition), recording all but the last 10 minutes of the race as my battery died. However, I haven't been able to edit the video just yet. Apparently, 30GB of HD video requires a lot of computing power. Oh well, it's gonna take me a while, but I hope to end up with some cool footage from this one.
My race plan as to start slow and to keep it steady. I did that until the last 2 miles when I tried to pick it up just a little. I crossed the finish line slightly winded, but within 5 minutes, I felt recovered, no stiff muscle feeling or any other painful movements for that matter. While I used to love to gun for a PR every chance I got, I do prefer not having aching muscle and joint pains after an event and being able to go for a run the next day without extreme muscle soreness.
I was glad to see a lot of familiar faces. Mountain Mist is next, but I will be glad just to toe the starting line.