Saturday, December 10, 2011

12/10/11 Tis the Season for a Cross Country 5K, race #3

Back to Pioneer Park for the third race in the series.  Martinho and I are the only male runners to have completed the first two races.  Winner of the series wins a free pair of shoes from South Sound Running.  Martinho beat me by a few steps in the second race, he has an amazing finishing kick.  In the first race he took a bit of a wrong turn and that has given me a 39 second lead on him coming in to today's race.  There are more runners here today including some real fast guys so I know that I will not win the race.  My strategy is to not go out too fast and keep Martinho close.  As long as I do not fall or lose a shoe in the mud I should win the series.

It is cold and dry today.  Not as foggy as when we ran here in October, but much colder.  There has been some river flooding and the two wet areas are now much wetter than last time.  The puddle/pond that was waist deep in 2010 is only knee deep this year.  But it is so cold that it has frozen over top.  The mud obstacle is not too bad because it is partially frozen.  The field is lumpy with half frozen bumps.  Not a PR course or day today.

Start - I had a good warm up and feel ready to run.  As we head out I get in just behind Martinho, Heather and Terra.  It is fun and good to know other runners who are right at your level of ability.  Across the field on the well marked course with flagging to go around and painted arrows to follow.

Mile 0.3 - On the far side of the field I pass my three buddies but do not go off so fast.  I know that they are right behind me.  The first mud obstacle is not too sloppy and I only get one foot a little wet.

Mile 1 - 7:44 which seems fine to me.  Some back and forth with a couple of the High School kids.  One kid ahead of me has on a red shirt like I do and is running smoothly.  We get to the big water trap and he goes splashing right through the middle of it.  I take a less aggressive approach along the edge, but still the water is deep enough to soak and then freeze my feet.  The kid and two other runners will finish the race with bleeding cuts from the sharp ice in this pond. 

Mile 1.5 - Feeling coming back to my feet.  I can run faster on this one section so I turn it on and pass 4 who are all bunched up.  I hope that will put some space between me and Martinho.  But now I am back on some bumpy grass and I keep turning my ankles a little bit and I am slowing some.  Gradually each of the kids get past me again.  Water hazard is not so bad the second time as I know what it will be like.

Mile 2 - Faster trail again.  Martinho is right behind me, but there is no way that he can run the last mile 40 seconds faster than me, so it looks like I will win the series.  Still I would like to beat him.  Through the mud trap without much difficulty and now on to the soccer fields.

Mile 2.5 - Across one field and now he catches me, making his move.  I fall back a little, then pick it up and run even with him.  He passes me again and gets a few feet ahead.  I notice that one of his shoes is untied.  I tell him that he should stop and tie his shoe.  Of course he will not stop.  I feel like I have a little burst left so I turn it on and pass him again.  I wonder if those at the finish line can see how closely we are battling this out.

Mile 3 - I am ahead of him at the final turn and run as best as I can.  But he puts on an amazing finishing kick.  He encourages me to run harder but there is no way I can beat him now.  Run hard and then ease in to the finish line.  He beats me by 5 seconds and won two of the three races in the series, but I will take home the shoes.  I am happy with my finish time today, but place wise I am farther down than usual.  Lots of fast runners, who thankfully did not show up to all three races in the series.

15th of 27 runners
Race#257, 5K#67



Amy N. said...

Great race Andy! I can't believe I missed that epic battle coming down the home stretch!

The most brutal part of that course for me for some strange reason is that super soggy grass. It just kills me! I'd rather run three loops of the rest of the course than run on that grass!

mummydust said...

I agree Amy, that semi frozen semi mushy grass was the worst.