Saturday, December 6, 2014

Powhatan Christmas Tree 10k

Today I finally got to check out the Powhatan Christmas Tree 10k! This is a local trail race that I've wanted to do for a few years, but we've had other plans and I haven't been able to make it. A few friends and local running folk around town have said good things about this annual P-town event, so I was pumped to be there this time around. This morning was a little drizzly, but the big rain held off until after the race, and the temperature was perfect for a little recess time in the woods.

The Start/Finish was on the track, making for a nice sprint to the end.
With just 2 weeks until the Seashore 50k, I'm officially in "taper" mode. I felt great today, eager to check out a new course and happy to be tackling such a short distance. My 50k training plan happened to call for a "controlled" 10k exactly 2 weeks before race day, so this one was a no-brainer.

What the flip does a "controlled" race mean?  Maybe the "slow & steady" approach?


I don't know about you, but I have a really hard time controlling myself at the 10k distance. Its just long enough to be a good workout, but short enough that you can be quasi-speedy without totally hurting yourself. My first mile came in at around 7:05, so its safe to say I started out WAY too fast. Whoopsie.

The first 3 miles were a blur as I tore through the first half of the course. Slow down, you moron!

Anyway, after almost collapsing following 3 sub-7:20 min/miles, I got myself together, slowed down (easy, killer) and enjoyed the trail and the scenery for the second half of the race. The course started at PHS and winded through a local Christmas Tree Farm, over some nice trails and power line sections. There were some great hills, a few fast flat sections and even a cute creek to jump across. Throw in the nice pond view and a track-style finish and you've got a great course.

For the first time ever, I wore headphones for this race. I don't know why, but this morning I just felt like having my own little trail-running dance party. My verdict on the headphone thing is still sort of undecided. You know I love jamming to some Heart and Whitney Houston, but plugging into my tunes seemed to take a little something away from the racing experience. Anyhow, don't think I'll try that again anytime soon, but I did get pretty pumped when Easy Lover came on.

Before today, my trail 10k time was just under 55mins, set this past spring at the James River Scramble. That course is anything but ordinary and not ideal for setting a PR, so today's race will serve as a better gage for where I land at the 10k distance.

I finished with a time of 51:48, which was fast enough to snag 30th place overall and 2nd for my age group. I'll take it!

Kudos to the folks who put this one together; it was a well-organized event, the course was easy to follow, the shirt is nice and the prizes were stellar. I didn't snag one of those sweet door prizes this time, but I'll be back for one of those hand-made bear paw mugs. You betcha.

Oh snap! That was the last thing on my racing "to-do" list before the 50k.
Its almost Go Time!  :))