Third annual event and my third time here. Almost did not race today as I am having a new foot problem. I think that it is just some strained tendons, it hurts pretty bad when I flex the foot and have pressure on it as in a calf stretch. Top to middle of foot pain. No swelling or bruising and of course it showed up after taking three full days off. Two weeks ago I completed a very high mileage week of 84 miles, including two races. I took it real easy the next week. My legs were so tired that I could just not get out of first gear. After that easy week I took three consecutive days off and really rested up. The next day, while walking, I felt the pain in my foot and at times it was painful to walk. More rest. Wednesday I ran a little and found that if I alter my stride, run like a zombie, it does not hurt. Another easy run on Thursday, painful at first then it loosened up and seemed OK. Walking has been better, just every once in a while it flares up.
So I arrive today with tired legs and a bad foot. I will do a little warm up and give it a go if it feels OK, but not worry about finish time. Warm up goes well, it is easier to run than walk actually. Club Oly runners Heather, Terra, Amy and their friend Jemma are here. They plan to run easy and to stick together. I do so much running alone, it sounds like fun to me to run with them today.
Start - Just before the start I see my old friend Charlie who is running her first race. Kimpossible is there to pace her. They are lined up near the back and I am still with them when the race starts. With almost 400 runners it takes a few moments to get from walking to running. Soon we are jogging and I move ahead to catch up to the Club Oly runners.
Mile 0.5 - It takes about half a mile to catch them and it is still very crowded. We have about three feet on the side of the road to run this downhill. Any time I want to pass someone I really have to think about how I am going to get around them. Good news is that the foot feels OK. I am not running like a zombie, although I am aware of how I am flexing on each step.
Mile 2 - Down, steep up, more down on this tough course. More room on the road and the crowd is thinning some. Really fun to run at this easier pace and to be running with these friends. Over the Narrows on a cool, cloudy and great running day. We try to be as goofy as possible for the photographer.
Mile 4 - Lead runners coming toward us from the out and back. Wave to Ginger, Martinho and Judy. I know where I would be in that mix, and how I would be feeling, if I were running hard. Instead it is so pleasant just to be out here and feeling good. My legs feel very good. At any moment I can put on a surge to pass someone and I feel strong. I don't have to stay with this group, but I like their pace and I am enjoying the day. Jemma is new to racing, maybe has not run this far before. If she starts slowing a lot, I will go on ahead, but otherwise this is working for me. At the turn around we have about a 9:05 overall pace going. 9/mile gets us in under 1 hour 30 minutes. That would be nice, but a negative split will be very difficult on this course. Still chatting with Amy and Terra. Fun times on the road.
Mile 8 -Up, down and then up. Our pack still together. Now Jemma takes the lead. I had expected her to fade but she is looking strong. Our pace has gotten quicker and we just may get in under 1:30. Up the hill for the last mile. Amy and I think that Jemma will slow but she does not. We decide to catch back up to her. The surge is easy and fun. So happy that my legs feel good. We have been passing people the whole way and now pass a few more to get even with Jemma. Less than a half mile to go and Amy takes off. I had threatened to run with her till the very end and then put on a quick sprint just to say that I beat her. She is not going to let that happen and she moves ahead so quickly. Our pack falls apart. I sprint to the end and assume that I am well ahead of the others but Jemma puts on a great kick and finishes even with me. Terra and Heather are close behind.
Finish - 10.03 miles on the GPS. Negative split! Watch Charlie and Kimpossible come in. No awards for me and I need to get back home, so I do not stay longer than that. Hope to come back next year.
Rested my foot for another two days and it seems to be getting even better.
125th of 384
Over the Narrows 10 miler #3