30th Annual Tilden Tough Ten

In Running, Race Report

Bib #6. Gun-to-chip time: 01:15:32. Position 26/216.

This race was pretty fun. Small yet large enough to have a regionally-competitive field. Beautiful (despite the visible lack of cows this time) yet challenging. I’ve always wanted to race Tilden as it’s local to me, so this felt almost like a bucket-list race.

Pre-race. I was uncomfortable going in. I had a workout on Thursday that was more leg-intensive than expected, and despite more sleep, my quads, hams, and gluts were still noticeably sore an hour before the race.

Miles 0-5. The race started at 8am. As forecast, it was already getting warm. Felt like a breezeless low-70s to me. For most of the first half I followed Dan Ditty and Evan without too much issue.

Miles 5-8. I started noticing the hills and heat taking their toll around the half-way turnaround mark (which was fortunately very clear), and had to walk up a particularly steep hill between miles 5-6. My right quad also started to feel tight on hills; this meant I lost some capability to capitalize on downhills.

I was mostly alone for most of these miles, EXCEPT for a woman that slowly kept closing in behind me over about 1.5 miles, and one guy about a consistent quarter-mile ahead of me. For the record, she passed me then proceeded to pass the guy ahead of me.

Miles 8-10. An odd finish. I knew there were no steep hills left, and attempted to push it. Both cardio and legs felt fine, but the sun and mid- to high-70s heat were making me dizzy. I was sweating a lot more than usual. At this point, I figured that I’d need to cut at least a minute per mile to get a sub-70. Not feasible. Finally decided to cruise at a comfortable 7:30 min/mile.

Around Mile 9. Saw a small pack of 3-4 runners about 1/3-mile ahead, going around 6:30-7:30 pace. I probably had enough for a kick in a final attempt to pass but was unfortunately not motivated enough to try.

Water & Fuel. A cup of water every other aid station after the first one. One GU around mile 7.5 after starting to feel fatigued.

Goals. Successfully finished without injury, cramping or bonking. Finished in sub-80, though I missed sub-70 by over 5 minutes… Will try again next year (weather-permitting!).

What’s Next. More mileage. More practice running in heat and hills. LMJS 4th Sunday Run next weekend, and Lake Chabot Half Marathon the following weekend!

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