April 13-19 = 51 miles including 20 miler
April 20-26 = 42 miles ending with a killer 15 mile hilly workout
That is a lot of miles for me and it is time to taper for upcoming marathons. My easy runs this week have not been so good, just feeling sluggish and no spring to my step. Took an extra day off and it will be interesting to see how today's race goes.
Tons of friends and familiar faces. It is like a reunion here. Same short course as last year so I am prepared for that. Light rain.
Start - After a mile warm up I go to retie my shoes. Severe lower back pain/spasm as I bend over. This is the third race in the past six months where I have had this pain after warming up, while bending over to tie my shoes. Very strange. Note to self: don't bend over.
Hey there is Mike Strong. We greet each other and he says that he hopes to run a seven minute mile. Sounds like a plan. I line up behind the front row of fast guys and take off fast for the downhill start.
Mile 1 - On level ground now and I did the first mile in about 6:38. Difficult to determine how fast to take a downhill start. I should take advantage of the slope, but not go so fast to burn adrennaline or have my leg turnover be excessively fast. Too late to experiment with a slower start this year. Mike has caught up to me and we are side by side.
Mile 2 - Around the lake. Still with Mike and a nice pack of runners. Two guys in front of me are chatting away and looking very relaxed while I am working hard. I do pass them but it is not easy.
Mile 3 - Passing tons of walkers, holding my own with the runners. Even with Mike but here comes the Brewery Hill.
Mile 3.5 - Top of the hill, still with Mike. He seems comfortable while I am gasping for air. My legs are OK, but I am getting out of breath. We encourage each other and continue on.
Mile 4 - Mike eases on by. I catch him once but it takes a lot of effort and he gains the lead for good this time. I am well off of last years pace, but it is fine. I feel good, just can't get the legs to go as fast as I would like. Getting wet, even a little soggy in the shoes. But my attitude it fine. Again, that feeling of belonging. Bob Martin way up ahead of me, Jay or Erik Lindburg just in front of me, other regular runners in front or somewhere behind. This is where I am supposed to be today, doing what I love and was meant to do.
Mile 4.8 - This has to be one of my favorite finish areas. Half mile downhill, left turn and a long view/sprint to the finish. Kick it in to high gear and call it done. Raining harder now, I cheer on a few finishers then go to the car for dry clothes. Sit in the car till the rain lets up, then go to the awards ceremony. They start early this year and keep it moving, but alas, no award or raffle win for me. Plan to come back next year for this quality event. Hopefully a good tune up before the marathons.
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race #134, Public Agency race #5, Public Agency 8K # 2, 8K #7