Today I went back to the West Hartford Reservior. Last time I ran counter-clockwise, so this time I ran clockwise since I don't know which direction the race will be going on Sunday. After today's run, my guess is that they will run the race clockwise, though I admit that I believe I'd prefer a clockwise run since the uphill is much more sudden and early on when you have more energy and the back half of the run is a series of slow declines. If I warm my legs up sufficiently before the race, I should be able to make it up the hills and across the flat around I believe reservior 5 or 6 to the race midpoint in a good pace; the hill workout certainly helped me find a way to run hills much more efficiently. After the mid-point, the trail begins it's series of long declines. Today I found myself getting mentally tired about 3/4 way through, so I'm hoping the race will give me a different state of mind to rely on to push myself. Other than that, I don't doubt I will attempt letting myself be pulled by gravity more down the hills to try and gain distance. I found if I keep my breathes shorter, it feels less likely that I'll get a side stitch like I did yesterday. So deeper breathes on the straight away, shorter on the downhill. If I can pull all of that off, I bet I can knock off a minute at most.
Distance: 3.4 miles (5.5k)
Time: 22:37 (6:49/mile)
Music of choice: Missy Higgins
Yesterday I told you I was hoping to race sub-21 on Sunday. Taking today's time for 3.4 miles as a proportion, I would have a 20:37 5k time. So I've already gone sub-21 minutes. I guess I only have sub-20 minutes left on my previous predictions; that's about 13 seconds per mile faster. Keep the uphill strides efficient, don't let the downhill ruin my diaphragm, and do as much as I can to keep up my pace on the straight aways. I think I can do it. That is if they run the race in a clockwise direction.