Third time here. Last year I ran with Jared and we took it real easy to protect my healing foot.
I ran the Steilacoom five mile race just three days ago (37:41) but as I warm up, I feel pretty good. This is a tougher course, so I probably will not be as fast today. I ran 37:56 here three years ago.
Cold and foggy. So much fog lately for races. I was slipping on frozen fog while driving here but as I run my warm up, the ground seems safe enough. It is about 35 degrees.
Start - Nice to see familiar faces as always. Great little event put on by the Stevicks. We start on time and go roaring down the hill. We have been instructed to stay on the sidewalk as much as possible and this will lead to some sharp turns and slower times. I try to hold back a little on the steepest downhill to the Tumwater Historical Park. I can hear footsteps slap, slap, slapping behind me, but they do not catch up. In fact, no one will pass me from about a quarter mile in, all the way to the finish.
Mile 1 - 6:56. I sort of figured that a seven minute mile would be good and that I would lose enough on the uphill to average about a 7:30 pace. Catching up to Oliver (9 years old). Multiple times I get to be just behind him, he senses me and puts on a surge. He does not want me to get past him. I feel no need to challenge his surges so I fall back about 20 feet and then start gaining again. Four or five such surges and finally he relents and I ease past him at about mile 1.5
Mile 2 - 7:12 average pace. Catch up to Ariel. I think that she is the first place female and I ask if she is. But alas, she tells me that there is a state champion runner somewhere way up ahead. Not enough oxygen to chat so we run together for just a little and then I am able to move ahead. I gain on and then run with another youth (Ben). We stay together for a while but he starts to fade. I can see Loren, who has beaten me by quite a bit recently, far ahead.
Mile 3 - Up the horrible hill. By the time I am at the top my pace is at 7:28 average so I really need to hold on if I want to finish in the sevens. My stomach is starting to cramp up. Through the Capitol Campus, past the Winged Victory Statue, continue on a gradual uphill. Gaining ever so slightly on Loren but he is just too far ahead.
Mile 4 - Sharp turns and on to Capitol Blvd. Hold on for a fairly strong finish. The last two minutes I wonder if I can beat my time from three days ago, and I work hard to try to do so.
Mile 5 - Finish. 5.06 on the GPS. My watch says 37:44, three seconds slower than on the 1st. I always start the watch as I cross the start line and that cost me two seconds today. At Steilacoom I started 5 seconds back and all this is to say that me official times for these races ended up being equal. I also beat my personal record for this course so overall I am happy.
Raffle - I win a pair of socks, yay! I was attracted to the white elephant gift that I chose because of the cool guitar wrapping paper. Pick it up and man is it heavy. I should have known that it was an exercise ball. Terrific, I can use this. New year is off to a good start.
10th place of 69