Four years ago I raced the Lead King Loop 25K a few months after Juniper was born. I barely survived the race in 2 hours 45 minutes.
This year, Elinor, Joy, Wendy and I made a girls day of it and ran the race for fun. None of us felt amazing going into the race. Joy is seven weeks post-partum, El has a nasty cold, Wendy is off the couch and I had a full training week leading up to Sunday.
For the first time that I can remember, I had zero race day nerves. Standing on the startline with my best friends as well as Jari Kirkland, Carrie Vickers and Beth Broome, I was relaxed and ready for a fun training run.
Starting at a comfortable pace, I climbed the first 3,000+ vertical feet in about 5 miles feeling sluggish and heavy. I finally crested the top of the climb to amazing views of snow covered peaks and started to feel much better as my pace went from a 15 minute mile to a sub-6 minute mile for a few fast miles.
As I passed the 110 year old Crystal Mill, I realized I would be able to finish much faster than 2007 and possibly close to the course record of 2 hours 19 minutes. I had no idea what place I was in but for once I didn’t care. I was racing myself and enjoying every step.
Crossing the line in 2 hours 20 minutes 19 seconds and in 5th place, I was very happy with my morning training run. Elinor finished in 2 hours 40 minutes, Joy just over 3 hours and Wendy finished just under 4 hours after battling major stomach issues.
Finishing up the training day with a quick mountain bike ride and I’ve started my training for the adventure race world champs in Tasmania.