A much different experience than in the past at Chuckanut, and I'm keeping this brief on the race details because journaling this run for the record will be of little help in the future. This is more a reminder of where my mind was in 2015.
Mild morning, though it had rained heavily the day before and opened up again just as we got underway at 8. Interesting story to the start was that I was the last person in line for potty, the last to enter and exit the stall, and I made it to the start line with 10 seconds to spare. Never cut it that closely before.
Three weeks ago I didn't know if I'd run the whole thing, let alone race. As I've been writing, there hasn't been enough time in life to run as I should. That's the way it's been. But the practice run with Krissy encouraged me, so I started with a good mindset. About 59 minutes for 10k on Interurban; 42 minutes to Cleator Road; 35:50 to the Ridge; 1:28 to Chinscraper. This was the 3:45 mark, if my math is right. I had really enjoyed the run up to this point, and felt very good about it. Nice pacing, kept my cool and fueling, chatted with a few people as the miles went by. But the course was very, very muddy, more than I'd ever seen it, and the downhill portions just tore my knees apart. So I was pretty tired, and knew from my trainig that this was the outer limit already.
So I completely hiked Chinscraper, which isn't too much different than what I'd do under "normal" circumstances. Just tried to conserve what I could and enjoy it rather than suffer. Only passed by 2 guys, I think.
But after Chinscraper there wasn't much left. I was passed by a few on the descent to Frangrance Lake, though I kept a respectable pace, but after that point I slowed more, took some hike breaks, especially where things were steep. Many people passed me.
By the time I was on the Interurban again, I had had enough. But not in a discouraging way, which was interesting and hopefully alright, in the competative sense. I didn't *need* to suffer on the way in, as you always do on Chuckanut's final 10k. I was ok with walking/jogging, looking up at the trees or out at the water when the view opened, and I focused on simply enjoying moving ahead easily. A few people asked "Are you ok?" and I smiled back. "Yes, this is what I want to do." I wasn't forced into a walk by an injury, it was just admitting to myself that's where I was, and forcing a jog, while good for mental toughness, would have saved 20 minutes on what was by far my slowest time anyway. So I let them pass, and cheered people on as they cleared the 6-hour mark. Good for them. I wanted to finish with a smile, which I did as I slowly jogged it in.
And Saturday night I was fatigued by not broken, I made it to a birthday part and enjoyed eating a lot; Sunday morning my knees were as painful as I've ever felt -- but that pain was gone by Monday mid-day. Those are good things, I still covered the distance and supported a race I really enjoy and love, and that's that. I'll be back.