Race around Capitol Lake. $10 entry day of race, plus bring a wrapped gift for the exchange. I bring two running books. I think it is obvious from the weight and size that it is books and that someone will take it and be pleased. Been suffering from a mild cold. Went skiing all day yesterday with the family and it really wiped me out. I'm not a good skier and my quads take a hammering, but at least I did not fall at all during any of the 12 runs we did. With the cold I probably should not race, but sometimes it does not affect me much. And I am not concerned with my finish time. I am in the middle of a four week training plan with short races every Saturday and some tougher than usual mid week runs. No hint of injury so I have been pushing it more than usual and hope it will pay off with some faster marathon times in the Spring. For now, these short races are my speed work and the 50K I have planned for 1/22 will be my long training run.
Fifteen minute drive to the start at South Sound Running. Icy though. The roads are very icy in some places. I skate/jog for two miles and then register for the race. Back in the car for a bit I feel very tired/sick. Maybe I should not run. I think of Portland where I decided to not race about a minute before the start and The Lost Dutchman where I was very close to not running because of a cold/flu but did go and survived a tough one. Well I do not feel that bad, it was just a wave of weakness. I sort of expect that I will get halfway through the race and have to walk or slow dramatically. Won't know unless I try. I go jog a little more and actually feel fine. Do some strides before the start and know that my legs feel fine and I should go for it. I just will not be disappointed if I have a horrible race. Shorts, long sleeve shirt, headband and gloves. Cold but sunny and not nearly as cold as last week.
Start - We gather at Boston street and right on time the race starts. Problem here is that it is a fairly significant downhill first mile. Like the Sound to Narrows race I ponder the wisdom of holding back or taking advantage of the downhill while I have it. Mile 3-4 will be all uphill. There is little hope of a negative split. I am all warmed up and it is easy to get sucked into running fast. I do not go all out however and I feel good about the start. I see a young boy go out with the fast guys, at least those faster than me. He looks like a young version of Caleb, my son. From behind he looks really young and he must be going way too fast. I am sure that I will catch him real soon. With Tammy for the first half mile, and Ron Frederick for the whole first mile. Bit of ice on one corner. Some pedestrians walking the inner part of the sidewalk as I run around a corner under Interstate 5. I tell them that there are many more people coming this way, they do not seem to care.
Mile 1- Hit it at 7:12 which seems just about right. Not too fast, not too slow. I pass one guy and one runner passes me. Then we are fairly well sorted out. The kid has a nice lead on me but is not that far ahead. I'm surprised that he is running so well. Hey and I feel good. I Forget that I have a cold. On to the main road around the lake. I mostly run on the gravel to avoid any ice. Pass one runner. Dodge some walkers with dogs.
Mile 2 - Warming up. The gloves come off as I near a covered bus stop. I could try to stuff them in my shorts pocket, but instead I throw them into the bus stop, hoping that someone will find them who can use them. The dollar store is a good place to shop for cheap cotton running gloves.
Mile 3 - Sharp right turn at Water street. I can see ahead and Bob Martin is not that far away. I try to not look back during a race but when I make the turn it is so easy to just look to my right as I am curious as to where Ron is. Oh good he is back a bit, maybe 10-15 seconds. Nobody right on my tail for the big hill. Here it is; a really steep long hill to the Capitol where it will flatten out some, then rise more gradually. The hill is tough and I am slowing but not so bad. I need some inspiration. Oh this will be such a short time of suffering compared to some of the things I have put myself through. Its a light and momentary trouble. Light and momentary trouble, that is biblical....what is that verse? "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" 2 Corinthians 4:17. Well I do not expect eternal glory from today's race, but the thoughts have taken me to the top of the hill. I slowed but I still have energy to run strong as I crest the end of the steep part. Turn right and see that the runner ahead of me is now walking. As I pass him I see another runner off to the side, stopped with head down and apparently vomiting. There is a race volunteer nearby so I keep moving and see that I have gained ground on the kid.
Mile 3.5 - Pass the kid (later I find out that he is ten years old) and try to encourage him. He will finish about a minute and a half behind me and really is an excellent runner. On through the neighborhood and feeling good.
Mile 4 - Course has been well marked. Good thing because I have no one just in front of me anymore to follow. At one point I think that I am supposed to go straight but it is clearly marked to turn to the left, over a patch of icy grass and onto Capitol Blvd. I was not exactly where I thought I was, but I have stayed on course. Now it is a straight and flat route back to the South Sound Running Store and the finish line. Just have to watch for ice and bumps on the sidewalk.
Mile 4.3 - Hey I am having a really good run. Pick up the pace and the legs cooperate. Glancing at my watch now and then as I really speed up, I can see the overall pace drop from 7:39 to 7:38 to 7:37 to 7:36. It won't be a negative split but definitely a strong finish. No one will come close to passing me and I cruise on in trying to beat the clock to get under 38 minutes. Just make it. Very good run. Now to the presents table. I go for a small box and am pleased with a gift of three pairs of socks. Happy with that exchange. Cool down jog with Tammy and watch more runners come in. A little slower than last week's 5 miler, but given the icy pavement and my cold, I'll take it. The skiing had no noticeable effect on my legs. Next up: Run for Faith 5K in Elma next Saturday.
17th place of 85