Last year's race was a showdown between my running buddy Lauren and I, prompted by some smack talking by her a few days before the race. I believe the exact phrase was "I am going to beat you old man!" Granted, she was 17 years younger than I, but a challenge is a challenge! I did wind up beating her, damn near killing myself in the process, with a hamstring searing time (for me) of 24:26. I just remember it feeling like one long 24 minute interval with no recovery in between!
So I approached this year's race uncertain about how I was going to run it. Lauren is now pregnant with twins, so she is out of racing for the moment. I thought about running it easy and enjoying the race, but deep down I knew I would be a knucklehead and run it hard.
So there I was, at mile number one, gasping for air at a sub 8 min/mile pace. Javier, one of the people in my running club at the gym, had just passed me. "Let him go!" my legs screamed. But my stubborn little Irish brain had other ideas, so I quickly caught back up to him, then passed him. The rest of the run was just a haze of heavy breathing, snot bubbles and pain. Last year the weather was hot and humid. This year's weather was cool and cloudy with wind. I rumbled to the finish line, just barely ahead of some 10 year old kid. 24:42, 13th overall, third in my age group. (Thank God it is a small race!) I missed a PR by 17 seconds. Not bad for someone who's only speed work has been running downhill!
Mo was there at the finish line, watching me shake my head and mutter at her. "It's a good thing I like you!" I gasped. She smiled knowingly, secure in the knowledge that my dumb ass will be back next year for more!
Sunday morning arrived with the same "Pacific North West" weather. I wanted to get out and run early so I could spend the rest of the day lounging, drinking coffee and watching sports. I somehow found the will to cut, trim and edge the yard after the 5K on Saturday, so I could totally rationalize an afternoon of sloth!
I had just gotten a pair of the new Altra Lone Peak 1.5 Trail shoes and was anxious to test them out on some single track. I also wanted to flush the legs out a bit with an easy run to assess how angry they were at me. The hamstrings were a bit tight!
|The New Lone Peak 1.5!|
So, with my annual 5K behind me, now I can focus on my next ultra event, the Black Mountain Monster 24 hour Run! Good Times!