Lets see how the legs hold up after running a 5K race yesterday. Cold and sunny at The Evergreen State College. Should warm up as we get running. Small crowd, new race director. Course has been changed a bit or so I am told. Last year it was short, hopefully that has been fixed. There is a map but I can not make much sense of it, I get all turned around and confused on these back roads around the school. Although open to traffic, the roads are very quiet and there will be no problem with traffic. Volunteers at all the turns and chalk arrows on the ground, so I should not take a wrong turn.
Start - We start about ten minutes late. I have done a half mile half hearted warm up. Relaxed and ready for whatever may happen. 10K and Half Marathon start at the same time and we go out smoothly. I find myself running with Terry Fritz (no relation) and Bob Martin, who I beat yesterday. I know that I am going a little faster than I should, but Bob soon goes out even faster and ever so gradually the distance between us grows. Terry is just getting warmed up and soon leave me too.
Mile 1 - Catch up to Christie and we run together off and on for a couple of miles.
Mile 4 - Christie is pulling ahead now and I will see her ahead of me for most of the race but will not be able to catch back up. Meanwhile my legs are already feeling tired. Sort of beat up. Now we go down that too steep hill and up the too steep hill out of the gulch. The hill really takes it out of me and I will not recover my normal running at any point after this.
Mile 8 - We have been doing a big loop for the second time. Now I am back at that hill, down and up. If the first time up the hill took the wind out of my sails, the second time makes it all even worse. I manage to run the whole way up, but one guy catches up to me on the uphill. We are both struggling pretty good at this point. This is the only person who has or will pass me since about mile 3. We run together off and on for about 2 miles but then he pulls away for good.
Mile 11 - Now at the turn around of the out and back section, although the back part is on a paved trail parallel to the road we came down. No runners around to motivate me but I keep running as best I can. It is a very different kind of tired in this race. I have plenty of energy, but my legs just feel tired and beat up. Too much fast pounding on the pavement between yesterday and today.
Finish - A long straightaway back to TESC, then a few quick turns and I can see the finish line. Before the race I thought that I would be happy with anything under 1:46. As I sprint to the finish it looks like I will be 1:43 and maybe under that. But the course is a little short again this year, 12.8 miles on the GPS. I get in just under 1:43 and am very satisfied with that time. But it was a lot more tough work to get there than I expected. Not racing next weekend and I am looking forward to a little rest and recovery.
3rd place in age group ribbon