Sometimes the best races are those last minute adds. I skipped the Mountain lakes Tri to put more quality rides in the bank before Rocketman in a couple of weeks. My run volume is improving too. A couple of training buddies were signed up for this 5k and I was free to join them. I really didn’t have any expectations. No OCD moments on this one except thinking that a sub-20min time would be decent given my training.
The weather was nice. Start at 0800 with sunny skies in the high 60s. Very good running temps. Not as perfect as November/December but much improved from “July from Hell”, as I started calling it. Gifted myself with some pancakes and agave syrup for breakfast then drove downtown to catch race-day registration. After I was bibbed-up, laced-up, and lubed-up, I ran a couple of miles to loosen up. Talked with S. Brown and his family at the start line and spotted a couple of other friends. Alot of game-faces out there that morning. S. Brown is our local barefoot running guru. He was sporting some sandals a la Caballo Blanco. My metatarsals were cringing at the thought. He said he wanted to run around 22 mins so slotted in next to me.
The first mile was fast, but usually is on the course. There’s some elevation drop that rewards you on mile 2 going back up. I felt good the first mile, working through the field and seeing “Caballo” slapping along in front of me. We passed mile one in 6:02 and I yelled to him, “Great job, 6 min mile”. He doesn’t run with a watch (like I said, he’s a minimalist), so I don’t know if that freaked him or he took it stride. He later said it took him a couple of minutes to realize what I yelled at him.
I passed “Caballo” and picked out a couple of runners up the road. After bridging to them, we ran together up the incline to the mile 2 marker. A volunteer yelled 12:15 as I crossed. ‘Ok’, I thought… ‘We’re holding speed pretty good. I can easily get under 20mins… but if I can really hold it together, I can sneak under 19:31 ( my PR )’.
That last 1.1 miles hurt. Again I felt like I was slowing down. My legs were going to jello. I was running 5th at the time. I passed runner 4 on a downhill and pondered if I had the legs and will to catch #3. However, I just ran out of real estate. He finished 12 secs in front. Hopefully, noone was snapping finisher pics. I couldn’t hide the grimace of pain on my face. Not pretty on a 44 year old. But I crossed the line in 19:13, a 18 sec PR.
“Caballo” finished in the mid-20s. A 3 minute PR for him on this course. I guess those 26 mile trail runs he does made him faster than he thinks. Good enough for first in his age group. In fact, all Doc’s training buddies got age group podiums. Awesome job, the Dans, Alex, Stephen, and Jay!
Everyone displaying their bling. McKayla was not impressed. ( Thanks to Dan B for the photoshop–Hiliarious. Had to steal your pic!)