Pike Lake Park Trail Assail 10k
Pike Lake Park 10k- Watermelon Run
Saturday morning I woke up a little tired but very ready to race. I've been hitting my milage hard the last couple of weeks. But, I have been doing a lot more middle of road runs, not too fast and not too hard. So I was anxious to get back out their and leave it all on the course. The Trail Assail series is my favorite running series. I really appreciate running trail races. I find them tough and a good challenge. I'm hoping next year that I'll be able to mix in the half marathons and the 10ks. I'd really like to improve in my trail running skills.
We left the house a little earlier than normal because I live about 40 minutes away from Pike Lake. However this course never disappoints me. It's a little more technically challenging and similar to Lapham Park, some of the series are held on flatter courses. I was really excited to see that the race director chose to stagger the start line. Typically the 5k, 10k and half marathoners all start together and because this is gun start, not a chip time; the less people at the start line the better.
I made a slight aggressive change at this start line, I decided to run in Hoka trail shoes (not my brooks glycerins) and start a little closer up in the line. I let the adrenaline get the best of me and took my first mile pretty fast at an 8:48, usually for this distance I would like to stay around a 9:30. I don't ever look at my mile splits until I get home and try to analyze a good race vs a bad race for me. I find wearing a watch to be a bother but find it necessary to keep the data to know if I'm improving. The first two miles of this race kinda feels like an incline up to the tower. The incline never seems to bother me. However, coming back down hills always bothers me. I feel like my brake system doesn't work as well as I wish it did.
The rest of the race seemed to be pretty enjoyable and pleasant. There is one piece that is an out and back on pea gravel and in years past I remember it being pretty warm. I was glad however we were blessed with a little cooler morning. I crossed the finish line and felt disappointed in my time. I felt like I had a good race but I like 10k that I keep under an hour. All and all I will be back next year. Even if I don't register for the series I think that I like the challenges of this course and appreciate the beauty of Pike lake.