I lined up at the starting line alongside eight hundred other runners from all over the country.
Nervous energy permeated the air. I jumped up and down to keep my blood warm. The moon rose over the summit of Pike’s Peak and as I looked up, admiring the beauty with awe at nature’s gift, I felt trepidation settle in my gut as I thought about the 26.2 miles of single track trail, not to mention the 7,800 vertical feet ahead of me.
I’d run this race before and this year, I had a plan. It’s all about the pacing.
When the starting gun fires, we all take off. I have placed myself in the middle of the pack and begin jogging slowing and steadily uphill towards the trailhead. It feels like everyone ahead of me is getting further and further away and everyone behind me is passing me.
I stay steady and strong. Despite my desire to push myself faster, I hold back. I know what’s coming.
Sure enough, as we hit the steep hill just before we get on trail, I begin passing.
And one by one, I continue to pass all those who had passed me and were now worn out less than a mile into the race. (more…)