Sunday, October 30, 2011

10/29/11 Club Oly Tis the Season for a 5K Cross Country Race at Pioneer Park

My third time on this course. Last year in December we had waist deep water and lots of mud, the year before I really took it easy to protect my injured heel.  Feeling good today, so I should have no trouble setting a personal course record.  Small turn out.  A couple of guys that I do not know and a few more women than men.  Cool and very foggy.

Start - Across the soccer field, a nice wide start and we are sorted out before the first turn.  Already one guy is way ahead of me and there is no way I will catch him.  The field is wet but in decent shape, not much mud getting kicked up.  Soon I am in third place.  Across the field I make a surge and pass Amy.  Based on recent marathon times and other races I should be fairly evenly matched with four runners here today.  Amy, Terra and Heather ran marathons this month in times that were a minute or two faster than mine.  Martino is here as well and he is always right up there with me.  Turn onto a trail and through the mud spot.  No standing water, just a little slippery.  Cherry guides us the way to go and I continue on the trail.  Flat but loose gravel, very hard to run as fast as I would like.  Try the grassy side of the trail but that is just too uneven.  Back onto the gravel.  I remember that I did the same thing last year.

Mile 1 - 7:11, Way too fast for this course.  I feel it in my legs and my breath.  Amy catches up to me and we run together for a bit.  I can not hold the pace though and she gradually gets out of reach.  Bill points the way at another intersection. Apparently I was just far enough ahead of the pack behind me that they did not see me make a turn.  Terra, Martino and Heather miss seeing Bill somehow and go off on the wrong trail for a bit.  They figure that it cost them 45 seconds to a minute before getting back on track.  That assures me third place and I will not have anyone getting close behind me to challenge me or give me inspiration to run faster.  The place with waist deep water is dry this year, runnable grass.

Mile 2- Second time on the loop through the woods.  My pace is fading, Amy getting farther ahead.  I feel good though, ankle feels fine.  Keep chugging along in good spirits.

Mile 2.75 - Back onto the field.  I can barely see Amy ahead, but lose her in the fog.  No one behind me.  Eventually I look back and see the pack coming out of the woods.

Mile 3 - Mile marker on the pathway that cuts to the right between the fields.  It looks like we are supposed to turn here as that would be about a tenth of a mile to the finish.  Plus now there are more soccer players on the field that we will have to run through.  Should I turn here?  Did Amy turn here?  I can not see her ahead with all the fog.  I continue straight and start to worry that I am going the wrong way.  If I am off and the pack takes the turn, I will end up in 6th or worse place.  O well, does it really matter?  I hit the turn at the end of the field and now head straight to the finish.  Oh good I am taking the right course and so are the others. (Although two runners will come the other way in a few minutes).  Cruise on in to the finish, beating last year's time by about 30 seconds.  As second overall male I get to pick one of the awards, a bag of candy and runner's fuel.  Great low key event.

3rd of 13
5K #65
Race #253

1 comment:

Amy N. said...

Great recap of the race! (much better than mine was!) It was a great event, I can't wait for the next one! Though I want to rustle up some spikes!