Hocking Hills Indian Run
Second time's a charm, right? Two years ago, I ran in the Hocking Hills Indian Run 40K race with my friends Rob, Mike, and Matt. I found that I really like trail running. This year, as the run approached, Rob asked me if I was going to run it again. Since my family had experienced a successful night of sleeping in a tent, we decided to camp out together before the race. I will include a synopsis of that event in another blog entry, but this is about the run.
I had already decided on running the 20K instead of the 40, as I am not in shape to run 25+ miles at one time. My original plan was to meet the guys as they finished lap 1 so we could run the second lap together.
As it was, Rob was sick for the whole week before the race, and Matt wasn't running with us, but Mike's fiancee was. So we all opted for the 20K. Rob and Megan would run together and Mike and I would run together. We planned on about a 9-9:30 mile pace for the 12.4 miles. I thought I could handle that, because that's about what Blaine and I ran a month or so ago.
At the starting line, Mike and I decided to sprint out. heheheheh. I heard some really "cute" comments about it (some were profanity-laced, and others commented on how hardcore we were).
The run was mostly as I remembered it. I felt really good for a long time, including a jog up a little part of Steel Hill. We walked the rest of that monstrosity - no reason to kill our legs in the first half of the race! We did the first 10K in around 48 minutes... equal to the best 10K I've ever run (I've never run one in competition).
The last 3 miles were the hardest ones. The trails were more rooty than I had remembered, and the uphills took more energy as well. I walked 3-4 times (or was it 5-6?). It seemed like forever until we got to the campground, where it was wonderfully nice to see Tara and the boys there to cheer me on. Then it was on through the Old Man's Cave area and finally up the 1 mile long hill to the finish. Oh, did I mention that Mike left me in the dust at about the 9 mile mark? He came back after he'd finished to cheer me on up the hill.
I was excited to finish: my final time was 1:49:45, which was an average mile time of 8:51! And I was 3rd in my age group. Mike only beat me by some 8 minutes, averaging 8:11/mile. I was 45th out of 204 runners.