Saturday, March 19, 2016

Skunk Hollow 10k (March 19, 2016)

Skunk Hollow 10k
March 19, 2016

Decided to run the Skunk Hollow 10k today.  

Skunk Hollow 2015
I ran this race last year (while pregnant).  Last year, I felt good for the first mile then my legs were struggling after that.  I was slowly running and mostly hiking the rest of the way.  Luckily, I met two kind ladies who stuck with me the last half of the race.  I finished third to last (probably would have been last if the two ladies hadn't hung back with me).  My finish time was 1:36:36.

Skunk Hollow 2016 (post race with Jenna)
Today, I enjoyed this nice little race on a beautiful, sunny day.  The race starts at Magnolia Ranch (near Pilot Hill) and goes out and back along some rolling trails near the South Fork American River.  Funnily, they warn you about a creek crossing and at first, you jump over a tiny little stream of water thinking that was hardly anything.  And, a few minutes later, you come to a sizeable creek thinking oh, this is what they were talking about.  Today, the creek went up to my knees but it wasn't too cold. 

This year, with no extra person and extra weight to carry, the race went much better.  I ran pretty much all of it, except for the creek crossing (I prefer walking across for safety reasons).  The course was a bit hillier than I remembered and a little long (6.6 miles).  My A goal was to finish under an hour but ended up finishing in 1:04ish.  But, I averaged 9:43 min/mile and I'm happy with that as my B goal was to have my average pace be under 10 min/mile.  

The race was pretty small so I ended up finishing 2nd female overall and 1st in my age group.  So, that was nice.  

wore the same outfit as last year except I wore my Singletrack Running hat today.
Must be a lucky hat as I won my AG. ;-)

Three Things that Went Well
1.  Ran at a consistent effort the whole way.  I ran pretty even splits.  32-ish minutes the first half and 32-ish minutes the second half.  

2.  Pushed myself well on the uphills.  It helped that this was a short race but I ran all the uphills even though one section seemed to go a little awhile.  I know in a longer race, I would have hiked a bit more but since this was only a 10k, I made myself run all the way up the hills. 

3.  Ran well on the downhills.  Downhills are a weakness but today, I pushed myself on the downhills. Normally, I run trail downhills over a 10 min/mile pace but today, I was able to run under a 10 min/mile on the downhills, which is really good for me.  

Three Things I Learned
1.  Around mile 6, I made mental note do not run this fast in an ultra!  I knew I could push the pace a bit today since I only had to run 6.6 miles.  Towards the end, I was glad the race was short as this was definitely not a pace I could maintain for much longer.  If I ever find myself running as fast as I did today in a longer event, I must slow down or I'll really burn out.   

2.  Short, faster races can really make your legs ache.  I'm not as tired as after an ultra but my legs feel more sore after today's 10k than I did after Salmon Falls 50k (or maybe I forgot just how sore I was after that race).  Don't think a shorter race is necessarily easier than a longer race.  They are just different challenges and effort levels are different.  

3.  Great thing about a shorter race is you still have the rest of the day to do stuff.  After the race, I was able to get home and it was still morning.  And, I got to take my baby to the park to play for a bit. I think after I finish Canyons 100k, I'm going to do more shorter races for a bit.  

Three Tidbits about the Race and the Race Organizers (One10Trail)
1.  Tiny tiny race.  Just a handful of people run this race.  It was the same last year.  I like the smaller races but this one is really small.  But, I like that it's low key.  

2.  Despite not that many runners in the race, One10Trail put on a great event.  I think more people should be running this race (there's a 30k option too for those that want something longer).  The trails are well marked.  Everyone is super friendly.  There isn't an aid station for the 10k race but the finish had nice food there.  And, there are cupcakes at the end for everyone!  Yum!    

3.  The trails out here are beautiful.  Such a beautiful day today too!  

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