-Zug Izland (stolen from a friend's Facebook post)
Hills, hills, hills, and the Incline. This year marked my 7th straight 10 mile jaunt through Garden of the Gods. I managed to run 11 minutes faster than the first time I ran this course. It doesn't get any easier. My goal was to break 1:19 and I was off by 6 seconds. I did PR, however, and can say that I left it all out there...until I refueled on pizza and shot-blocks. I realized I started too fast when Sean passed me after the first mile. Karin talked me into starting way up front and I got sucked in. I told Bubba before the race that if I didn't break 1:19 I had to do the Incline after. Which I did.
The weather was perfect for a PR as I tend to run slower in the heat. I tried to push the ups and the downs and took a sip of Gatorade or water at each water stop. Mile 5 on the sidewalk and mile 9 always kill me. I was feeling the overly-fast start at that point. Bubba caught me around mile 5 and I couldn't catch him. I'll get you next time, friend!
The finish was tough, I didn't have any juice left in the tank and cringed when I saw the clock. Incline, here I come. After chowing down on a couple pieces of pizza, I gave Shelly a ride back home and suckered Karin into joining me for the Incline as penance for missing our goal times by a nose hair.
As we trudged up the Incline on tired legs (great training for the Peak, by the way-16 Golden Stairs!), we came upon a woman that was having a medical emergency and tried to help out but she was in good hands. This was a scary reminder that the Incline is no joke. Since she had a doctor and several other highly qualified people taking care of her we decided to get out of the way and continue to the top through a cool, low-hanging cloud. As we ascended we approached another GOG finisher sporting his medal and exchanged high-fives (there are others as crazy as us!).
Perhaps I don't give myself enough grace. Maybe I'm a masochist. Hopefully, this concoction of insanity and masochism will help me get through some of the toughest races of my career this season. Congrats to all who completed the Garden 10 mile this weekend! Happy running!