4th time here and I am sure it will be the slowest. It has been a very poor month for running. June 12th Tunnel Marathon left me with two hurting feet. After a few days, the left foot was all better but the right foot continued to nag off and on. Something near the ankle, not diagnosed and mellow enough to not go to the doctor. Ice, rest, ice rest and it would get gradually better. Make sure it feels decent enough for the 10 mile round trip up and down Mt St Helens. Thinking of starting a separate blog for hiking adventures. On days when I was running, I just could not get moving. So for the last month it has been 3-5 miles at a time, with lots of long walk breaks and all of it very slow. Not motivated to race and I just can not get any speed going. At Hood Canal for the 4th of July, I used that as an excuse to not race. Could have gone to any of three races within an hour drive, but I chose to sleep in. I am signed up for something on 7/23 and Lakefair 7/16 is looming. On the 4th Tammy reminded me of the Bear Run. I had forgotten about that one. By mid week I was running without discomfort and decided to go for it. If only because I have said that I want to keep doing this for many years. I turn 50 this week and if this is not an age related slowing, then one is coming and I might as well get used to being in the back of the pack.
Friday night Jody says that she wants to come. Pleasant surprise. She knows that I like to get to races super early and is a good sport about leaving the house when I think we should. Little does she know that I had us leave about 15 minutes later than I would have on my own. We do know the way and there should be easy parking. There is and we get there right at 8AM, for the 9AM start. We happen to be the first ones to the registration table and get numbers 1 and 2! I don't think that I have been number 1 before. $10 day of race with the no T-shirt option is a steal. Back to the car to read for a while and watch people walking around with bib numbers going higher, but not many.
Make our way to the start line. Meet Andrea who looks really fit and fast. Another guy who I recognize. I do very little warm up, won't even log it as mileage. Jody meanwhile puts in some distance and almost misses the start. We don't know anyone else and it is a small event. New race director and she intentionally did not advertise, so that she could manage a small group. She does hope to grow it for next year and she does a great job of running things this year. When she has the 2 milers separate from the 10Kers we are surprised to see just about everyone is in the short race. Only 6 of us in the 10K! Police Officer Grim talks about safety and then it is time to go.
Start - I plan to ease into it. We run across the street and on to the right shoulder. Jody is ahead of me but I get past her and also Andrea. The one guy in front and starting to extend his lead. Not going too fast, I decide that I should try to keep near him, just in case I will be able to stay with him and get the victory.
Mile 0.5 - Through downtown. I sense Andrea is right behind me. The first guy is gaining a little and I know that I am going too fast. Sub 8 pace, but it feels OK.
Mile 1 - 8:03 on the watch. Way faster than expected, now can I hold it.
Mile 2 - I looked back at the water station and Andrea was falling behind. First place guy is so far ahead, he is a speck in the distance. Country roads with chip seal that I do not like. Just a little discomfort in the foot but not bad at all and not getting worse. Try to stay on the shoulder when there is one and especially when the police officer is driving by.
Mile 3 - 8:09 average pace. Very happy with that. Maybe I can hold on and finish at 8:15 pace?
Mile 4 - Another water stop. I am locked into second place but will pretend that someone is on my heels. Reach the turn that Ron B missed a few years back. It is marked but only halfway through the turn. Jody will hesitate here but get help from a race official. I am sure that I am on track and try to keep up the pace.
Mile 5.5 - Ready to be done now. I would have been happy with 53 minutes, but it looks like I have a chance at beating 50. I can see the finish line and my watch is at 40:19. Run as fast as I can until I realize that I won't make it. Ease up just a little and cruise in to the end.
Finish - 6.13 on the GPS. 50:17 on the watch. Cheer in Andrea and then Jody. Jody is really happy with her 57:18 time, the same as 9 years ago here. The last two are apparently walking. No awards but Jody and I both with raffle baskets (sewing stuff and dog stuff). We are back home by 11AM feeling great about our morning.
I will register for the half at Lakefair and plan to continue to enjoy events like this.
2nd place out of 6
Race#393, Run from the Bears 10K #4