Ok the reason for this late post is because Little Tova was with us for the last 10 days, and frankly she's more important - sorry!
Pre-Race: I signed up Little Tova and Papa in case she wanted to earn some bling (one of my race medals) she told me that she wanted a medal but she didn't really want to run. I told her sorry, you have to pick, she picked pancakes and eggs with Daddy - which was A-OK with me, as I really really wanted to run this last race hard and finish strong.
We got to the race and did all our standard pre-race stuff. Again, a lot of people there - definitely more than last year.
Race: This is such a weird course. You leave from the far end of the parking lot of the South Mountain preserve, and run along the parking lot - which is so long that you run .6-.7 miles just to get out of the parking lot. The first 1.5 miles is all uphill - the insidious uphill where you're not necessarily licking the dirt, but you can't understand why you feel so slow and tired so quickly. It's probably a 2% incline on the way up, with a couple of sections that are steeper. So to get to the first guard station out of the park is .6 - .7 miles, and then you run along the road to the second guard station which is the mile 1 marker. At this point you're just looking forward to hitting the water station and going DOWNhill for the second half of the race. The .5 miles from the second guard station up to the water station loop is pretty steep, and it hurts. The best part is that you hit the water station, and then go downhill the rest of the race. It's an out and back course, but that .6-.7 miles on the way back from the first guard station to the end of the parking lot takes FOR-EV-ER. It's the longest finish "sprint" of all time.
This year it felt WAY better than last year - probably because the temperature was in the low 90's, which felt great, but also because I was definitely acclimated and had been doing hillwork all summer, so I didn't feel like I was going to die before I even got out of the parking lot (like last year). Lilac and I had a great time, and we decided that the Summer Series isn't that bad if you actually prepare for it.
Post Race: 44:09 (there IS this thing called South Mountain involved in the race which slows you down just a speck), 442 pts, 36/38 in the 25-29F division, 634/660 overall.
SERIES: 20/111 in the 25 - 29F division, 168/712 of all women, 1865 pts. This put me in the top 18% for my age group, and 23% overall.
Am I dissapointed that I finished in 20th place again this year? A bit, yeah. Still I earned 400 more points than last year, had better times at every single race than last year, and there were more people competing this year - so I guess I can't ask for more than that. I have had stray thoughts about signing up in the walk division next year, since I run/walk every race, and I'd have been in 8th place if I had - but it just feels like cheating to me.
Goals for next year's series - earn 500 points in a race, break 2000 points overall, place in the teens, break my PR at the first race.