Race Recaps: Black Canyon North Rim 20K & Global Hope Apple Cider 10K

And with this post - I am officially caught up on blogging! It feels so good (remind me never to run 6 races in 6 weeks again...)

I am combining 2 races that I've done before, since I figured I wouldn't have as much to write about given that I've already blogged about them in the past. So without further ado - I will begin with the Black Canyon North Rim 20K that I ran on October 3rd, followed by the Global Hope Apple Cider 10K which I ran on October 24th!

Race Recap: Black Canyon North Rim 20K


This race is the only race I have done EVERY single year since I started running (how cool is that? And because of that, I think I have to keep it up). The 8K course was only my second race ever back in 2012! I ran it again in 2013 - this time my running had progressed enough that I jumped up to the 20K. Unfortunately, it was also moved that year to a different location because of the Government Shutdown that closed down all of the National Parks (although, I actually really liked the course that year). Last year, 2014, it was back at the Black Canyon and I once again did the 20K (although only the first time on the "real" course).

I went into this race with the only real goal of beating my previous years time of 1:57:23. Now, that's not a super fast pace for me (9:26 per mile), however this is a VERY hilly course. That being said, I still really thought I could do it - I had just ran a 3:44:26 Marathon only 3 weeks prior (8:34 per mile). Surely I could run this race in under 1:57 without a problem, even if it was hilly. I could not have been more wrong....

The race started out okay. I ran my first few miles at a respectable pace (8:58, 8:43, 8:44), however from the very get-go I could tell something was off. Yes, I was at a higher elevation (about 8000'), but I felt like I was at a SIGNIFICANTLY higher elevation (I'm talking like 12,000 feet). I just felt like I had barely any oxygen. I was facing a headwind for those miles, so I thought maybe that had to do with it? But even after we changed directions I will still suffering immensely. 

Nevertheless, I was here to run a race, so I just kept at it. The more I ran though, the more worn out I felt. Finally at about Mile 7, I started taking walking breaks. Every time there was a significant hill, I just walked it (this isn't a trail run, but is on dirt roads - in the past, I've been able to run the whole thing - albeit slowly given the hills). 

I spent the remaining 5 miles of the race just trying to figure out what in the world was up with me today. The only thing I could think of was that I had recently started a DietBet to get my eating back under control (I had been eating terribly lately), and so I had eaten at a fairly large calorie deficit all week. Now, that might have been part of it, but then, all of a sudden while talking with someone post race, a light bulb went off: I had just donated blood 2 days prior. I hadn't thought much of it at the time because I used to donate regularly - however this was my first time in over a year since I got my tattoo. I felt pretty stupid though - especially because now that I knew what it was, I even remembered the Phlebotomist telling the guy next to me about how the amount of oxygen in your blood drops significantly (or doesn't replenish as fast as the actual blood I think - something along the lines). I'm no expert in that kind of stuff, but I do know that the more oxygen in your blood, the better you run...so, with that in mind, I decided not to be too concerned with my negative performance!
Picture taken from the race Facebook page.
I stopped and took a selfie with my friend Randee along the way!
Randee took this of Rochelle - it shows the course well!

I ended up finishing in 2:08:51 - which was actually, much to my surprise, good enough for first place in my age group (gotta love small races!) - I'll take it! This was also the second year in a row that I ran all 3 of the Black Canyon races in one calendar year (this one along with the Winter Rim Romp in February and Black Canyon Ascent in May), so I got an awesome Pint Glass (I am getting quite a collection of these)!


RACE STATS:
Race: Black Canyon North Rim 20K
Location: Crawford, CO (closest town - really another 15-20 minutes south of here)
Distance: 20K / 12.4 Miles
Bib Number:
Weather: Not as warm as I was expecting because it was WINDY, but not cold - 60's and sunny I think.
Official Time: 2:08:51
Average Pace: 10:23 minutes per mile
Elevation Gain: 860'
Overall Rank: 23 of 31 
Gender Rank: 13 of 19
Age Division Rank: 1 of 2 or 2 of 3 depending on how you look at it! (the overall winner was in my age group, so that's why I got the award for "1st" in my age group)
Garmin Splits: 8:58, 8:43, 8:44, 9:47, 11:02, 10:38, 10:28, 10:28,  11:14, 10:16, 10:50, 13:50 (can you tell I was ready to be done?), 9:31

Map & Elevation Profile
With my age group award!
Rochelle, Randee, Ed, and Myself
Now onto Race #2 for this post....

Race Recap: Global Hope Apple Cider 10K


This race is a fundraiser for Global Hope - an organization I donate to and sponsor a child through, so  even though it's a bit of a long drive for a 10K, I wanted to go support it (and P.S. they need sponsors - so go sign up to be a God Parent and make a difference in a child's life!!). Last year was the first year they had a race - a 5K in Broomfield. For the second year, they changed it up a little and ran on the Big Dry Creek Trail in Westminster instead, while also adding the 10K option. I was trying to keep my mileage up for Rim Rock training, so not only did I do the 10K, but I also did a 9 mile warm-up prior to the race starting - so needless to say, I wasn't going in on fresh legs, and I could definitely feel that in the last mile!

However, I also knew it was a smaller race, so thought, MAYBE, I could still sneak in a top 3 finish (within Women)....yeah not so much. The women were actually faster than the men - with all 3 top women finishing before the second male. But ohwell - I still managed to get in some faster miles (for me) in while enjoying the scenery (Big Dry Creek is a great place to run if you live in the area!).

Picture from the race website - all of the runners shortly after the start!
Carrying cups for 1 1/2 miles...NBD.

(They weren't sure they would have enough cups at the first aid station, so I volunteered to carry them out on my way)

Views from the course - taken earlier that morning while on my warm-up.
Another view of the course.
Finishing!

I had also convinced some friends of mine to come out and do the 5K too and my friend Amy ended up finishing first female! And to top it off, I ended up winning 4 huge bottles of hard cider - so overall it was a win! 

I managed to recruit all of them! :)
One of the best raffle prizes I've won!

RACE STATS:
Race: Global Hope Apple Cider 10K
Location: Westminster, CO
Distance: 10K / 6.2 Miles
Bib Number: 112
Weather: 40's and sunny (perfect racing weather!)
Official Time: 53:47
Average Pace: 8:38 minutes per mile
Overall Rank: 12 of 31
Gender Rank: 6 of 18
Age Division Rank (F20-29): 1 of 3 of 2 of 4 depending (2nd overall was in my age group - so that's why I'm ranked as 1st in the results - they did not do individual Age Group awards though).
Garmin Splits: 8:19, 8:31, 8:22, 8:47, 8:41, 9:09, 8:35 (last .2)

Elevation Profile
Course Map

Comments

  1. Great recaps! Glad you figured out why you weren't feeling as on after donating blood. And wow, way to go rocking a 1st place in your age group!
    The 10k distance is my favorite besides the half marathon. Nice that it was for such a great cause. Talk about great scenery too, wow! Love the pics. Great job on both races.

    Shannon (@GirlsGotSole)

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