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<span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:small;"><span style="color:#000000;"><br><span style="font-size:small;"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="color:#000000;"><b>February 23, 2008</b></span></span></span><br><span style="font-size:small;"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="color:#000000;"><b>Black Forest, Colorado</b></span></span></span><br><span style="font-size:small;"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="color:#000000;"><b>Winter Series 4 - 20K - Final Race</b></span></span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:small;"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="color:#000000;">Weather: Mostly sunny, temps in the upper 30s and rising to the mid 40s. Strong wind from the north making it feel much colder. There were many very icy spots out on the course and some people took a fall.</span></span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:small;"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="color:#000000;">Course: Rolling hills on dirt and paved roads. Elevation is about 7000 feet. Most of the course is within the forested area of Black Forest, and there is some protection from the wind. The exception to this are the latter miles of the 20K course, which is more exposed. There are some terrific views of the Pikes Peak and the Front Range mountains.</span></span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:small;"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="color:#000000;"><b>About a quarter mile from the finish</b></span></span></span><br><span style="font-size:small;"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="color:#000000;"><b><img alt="" src="http://www.pprrun.org/photos/2008/2008WinterSeriesIVDewane/run/IMG_5705.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"></b></span></span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:small;"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="color:#000000;"><b>When I arrived at the race venue it was starting to have snow flurries and the wind was blowing hard out of the north. This made it somewhat difficult to decide on my race clothes. I brought several different selections and ended up with long pants, and two layers of shirts - plus a knit hat and gloves. I had been hoping to run in shorts and a single shirt, but I do not run well if I get cold. I also decided to wear my racing flats as all the roads near my house have been completely snow/ice free for the past week or so. However, this race is 25 miles north of where I live and about 1500 feet higher and the dirt roads still had a fair amount of snow/ice. I didn't realize this until I got to the actual start though as all the roads leading to the course and parking area were snow/ice free.</b></span></span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:small;"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="color:#000000;"><b>This course is very hilly. It's mostly rolling type of hills - nothing real steep, but the hills are relentless. For a change I began closer to the front and got off to a decent start. Within the first mile there was a slightly steeper downhill that was icy and someone in front of me had fallen. This person was being attended to by medical personnel and a vehicle was in the middle of the road. I think the person may have been in the 10K race which started 15 minutes prior to the 20K. I ran fairly well in the first mile though even with the slight diversion around the vehicle. The second mile was mostly uphill, on icy roads, into the wind. It was my slowest mile of the race. By that time all the really fast runners were ahead of me, but I was picking off people continuously. At about the 2.5 mile mark I started passing the stragglers from the 10K. This area is mostly sheltered from the wind and I started to get into a good rhythm. Just after mile 3 the course is on pavement for a mile or so and it was easier to run, except when it turned uphill into the wind. I spend so much time doing training runs and having to deal with the wind, so I just told myself it was no big deal and pressed on. I passed a fair number of people on this uphill, windy section. At the top of this hill the 10K and 20K course split so the runners got much further apart. From that point on I would work on catching the runner in front of me. The gaps would range from a couple hundred yards to about a quarter mile and it was taking about a mile to chase each person down and pass. All this time the course heads generally north, into the wind, but it meanders around a bit so the wind wasn't killing me. Around mile 9 the course turns back to the south and it was nice to have the wind at my back. One guy I had passed went by me around mile 8 and I was working on trying to catch him again. I wasn't really having any luck, but I was still passing other people. Mile 10 was on pavement and almost all uphill. I worked it hard going uphill and closed the gap on a guy who had been far in front. It was nice to have the strong wind at my back going up the hill as this is the biggest, steepest hill on the course. At the top of the hill was the final aid station. Grabbed a quick drink while running and continued the pursuit. The course made turn to the west and the cross wind was fierce, but this was slightly downhill. Around mile 11 there was a person laying off to the side of the road being attended to by medical personnel. As I rounded a bend in the road an ambulance was approaching. I haven't heard what happened and hoping for the best. Around another corner and up the final hill. I caught another person here. At the top of this hill the course turns to the south and it's downhill to the finish - about a mile. I ran hard and about a quarter mile from the finish I heard my friend Kent call to me from the sidelines that I was just behind a guy named Larry Miller, who won the 55-59 age group. Larry had about 20 yards on me, but I closed to about 5 yards at the finish. At the bottom of this hill the course goes around a corner and it's about 75 yards to the finish. I could see the time clock was about 1:39:54 and I wanted to try beating 1:40. I didn't quite make it and finished in 1:40:03.</b></span></span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:small;"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="color:#000000;"><b>I had figured I could run between 1:40-1:45 if the course was in good shape. Since conditions were not really good I was extremely pleased. This was a new 20K PR for me by 10:31. I had sizeable PRs in 3 of the 4 races and the other race I ran my best time ever on that course. My best previous time for this series was 5:42:30. This year I ran 5:06:20. Still I only ended up in 5th for my age group and 29th overall. Only the top woman beat me for the series and she was a 16 year old high school XC runner.</b></span></span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:small;"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="color:#000000;"><b>This week I ended up with 73.88 miles. My third 72+ mile week in a row. On Sunday, March 2 I will be running a 10 mile race in Pueblo, Colorado. This race draws many smoking fast people and it is the 30th anniversary of the race so the competition will likely be strong. I've never done this race before though. Last year a guy in my age group took third overall with a time of 1:01:15!</b></span></span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:small;"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="color:#000000;"><b>We've had a couple nice days here in the past couple weeks and I've been able to run a shorts and a t-shirt. I'm looking forward to the warmer weather, but running every day in crappy weather has made me much stronger mentally. I'm counting on this to help me through my marathon.</b></span></span></span><br></span></span></span>
 

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Great job on your PR in cold icy conditions! Wow you put a lot of training miles in! Which marathon are you training for?
 

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Congrats on the PR. Sounded like a great race albeit the icy conditions.
 

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YAY FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<br><br>
It looks soooooooooooooooooo COLD!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. I'm training for the Colorado Marathon. It's in Fort Collins in early May. Last year I ran 3:55 on less than stellar training.This year I'm trying to BQ and need to run 3:35. I think I have a decent shot at it if the weather cooperates.
 

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Great job in what seems tough conditions, Don. With your third big week in a row, capped by a strong race, you should be in good shape for the next goal of a fast 10 miler. Well done at altitude. Keep up the good work. Because you know have immense base with which to add some quality speed.
 
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