Today I ran the Port Gamble Half, part of the Roots Rock Trail Running Series. As far as trails go, this was a race that offered a little bit of everything- flat dirt road, windy single track, sand, and some hills although nothing too extreme. I learned a couple of things right away.
I thought I was in better shape. My combination of steady trail runs with occasional intervals could be improved upon- probably by going back to those weekly 17 milers, something I have not done since before the Oly Discovery Marathon.
Hills are a real problem for me. I was getting dropped by the young guys on every uphill. Even worse, coming back on a relatively long steady downhill I had a group just fly by and disappear from sight. I just can't let myself freewheel downhills, particularly on trails.
I am also lousy on narrow, single track windy trails. Again I kept getting caught by runner after runner on these sections.
All in all, for most of this race I was just running and not really racing-
My final time was 1 hr 38 min, slow for a half, but on trail, about what I expected. This is a different sport than road or track racing.