Galatzo Trail Legend 43k
A gentle slope is just that. A hill is a hill and a mountain is a mountain. They don't change. But ask me if that's true near the end of a marathon and I'll give you a different answer (and maybe a few choice expletives as well).
I practice running up the steep stuff as much as possible with the aim of improving my climbing and not being deterred by any incline that I come up against. I don't want to be a regular mountain goat, I want to be an awesome one.
My training usually goes well and I can pick my way up the local hills for hours on end in a steady and controlled manner. So why come race day can I not always replicate that?
I have now developed a race strategy so to speak and I've had good results by following it but the problem is that all too often I ignore it. I start to chase people I have no reason to believe I should beat, I panic about slowing down as if it's a bad decision, I think that for some reason today is the day I can push past my own limitations and run faster than even before, I ignore my inner monologue that spouts sensible advice, I listen to my over excitable dog-like thoughts that say 'Faster! Faster! Faster!' and command me to charge at full pelt.
Basically I do all the things I know are going to lead to a horrible, crawling, painful end to a race where the slightest incline seems insurmountable.
You think at some point I'd learn.