Bike Ride and Nature Walk 279, originally uploaded by JMelquist
I had a better start for today's race than for my 5K four weeks ago. I slept in till six and fueled up with breakfast: 2 slices of buttered cinnamon toast, cottage cheese, yogurt, and a glass of milk. It was 43 degrees and cloudy at 8:00. After a singing of the national anthem, we gathered on the road and the pack was off, leaving me in literally the last place!
No matter. My goal today was to start slow, pace myself, and not walk. Soon we came to a long downhill section where I flew past a good chunk of people that I never saw again. We turned onto a dirt trail and it wasn't long before we came to a short, steep climb. I wasn't about to wear myself out so early on the race so I power-walked up to the top of this section and took off at the top. I never walked again for the rest of the race.
I had worn a light jacket to keep off the rain, but the sprinkles were holding off, and I was getting hot. I took it off and tied it around my waist. The trails were nice. I'd never been in this area before and might have gotten distracted by the scenery. At mile two I passed a few people, then after mile three I started getting passed again :)
After the mile four marker, I started consistently gaining ground on runners who were out of steam, especially on the uphills. In the final mile I went by a pair of old ladies who were walking and sharing tuna casserole recipes. I was glad to have passed them, but humbled that they had led the way until then! I was feeling great, though, thanking volunteers and high-fiving the kids who were cheering on the side of the course.
I powered up the final hill and was excited to see my wife and daughter watching for me at the finish line! At the end I finished in 1:03:59, which is about what I expected from my 6 mile training run last Saturday. I was impressed by the organization at this race; everything went smoothly, and the event shirts were quite good. Overall, it was another fun run, and I have a new personal record to beat next time!