Chasing at the Steeplechase 8k

As I posted earlier, this race was a last minute add-on.  Call it running-friend-peer-pressure.  Secretly, I love to race.   It’s my competitive nature, I suppose.  Also, my first Olympic Tri is in 2 weeks and needed to gauge the speed in my legs.

I awoke at 0500 after a restful 5 hours of sleep.  I felt energized and ready to run.  Not!  On-call at hospital till late didn’t fit into my ideal pre-race prep.  It’s been busy at work the last 4 months for some reason.  Good for the financials but not for my mental/physical health.  But nothing a 3-musketeer bar doesn’t fix…but that’s another post all together.

But I digress as usual.  So I got to the race site 45mins prior to start.  Packet-pickup was completed yesterday.  I did a short jogging warm-up then some strides.  I didn’t feel super fresh but not like death either.  It was comfortable but humid at the start…hoping it didn’t get hot during the race.

This race winds around downtown and has a few small hills that hit you at the worse times.  The first mile is the fastest…flat then net downhill.  There’s a bridge overpass late mile 3, then the last mile includes a short steep section then a slow incline up to finish.  I wouldn’t call it a super-fast course but not terrible either.  The winner ran 24:49 over 8k, so I guess it was easy for him…  The rest of us finished 5+mins behind.  I came in at 33:01.  That was 6th overall and first in my age-group.

I definitely felt the heat/humidity.  My shirt and shorts were drenched when I finished.  Figured I gained 5 pounds on the run.  I, as usual of late, got into chasing 10 year-old running phenom, Noah.  He was in his usual “ice-water-in-veins” posture.  Just running along as if he was jogging…looking around the surroundings.  I think he was whistling a Tennessee Williams tune.  As he day-dreamed, I would catch up to him.  He’d hear my “about to have a heart attack” breathing and effortlessly speed away.  I contemplated telling him to take a wrong turn on the course but I refrained.  He’s 10 years-old and runs like the wind, but I’m better looking. Ha!

One of big sponsors is our Click-Fil-A.  There were 4 “cows” out on course and at finishline to cheer us on.  Can’t say whether they helped or not…Cows not being especially inspirational.  But at least they were a distraction.

Fun was had by most I feel.  Good to see Dan B, Ray C, Betsy M, Kate, Micheal P, Coons, Stepps, Tracy R, Brian Q-on the bike–wish I had a pic.  Glad I got up and ran.  I never regret it.  Overall, my time was Ok.  Not too far away from my best.  That’s encouraging going into Lake Guntersville Tri.

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