Last night I was up past 11, usually in bed by 9. The morning came fast. I dragged myself out of bed at 6, headed out the door, returning inside three times, having forgotten something. I made it to the race, all essentials in-tow, registered and had a good time talking with some friends. One of the local middle schools had their cross country team in uniform attending the race.
The morning was BEAUTIFUL, low 50's at start time with nice sunshine. It's going to be 85 today, so it warmed up fast.
The race wound through the old neighborhoods here, the same ones where I grew up. I took my warm up jog, a bit over a mile, through the old streets, looking at my old houses, houses of friends, remembering where this big mean dog named Coors resided. I turned onto a street whose name has been shortened to Placita Baca, from Placita de Baca, place of the cow. I used to infuriate my sister, telling her the street was named after her.
For some reason, the stroll through my old haunting grounds inspired me to want to do well. This is where I'm from. I'm who I am today because of experiences I had here. But I was concerned because my calves still ached and didn't feel right from Monday's tempo run. Plus, I climbed over 6,000 feet in my last two bike rides...can you say, shot legs? I'd just see how it went.
At the start of the race all of the middle schools crowded the starting line. I knew a few of them would probably beat me, they run pretty fast. But many would just be in the way, so I had to get around them. Of course they took off fast, and in passing them I completed my first mile in 6:23. Oops. I passed all but three of them about half way through mile one, knew I was going too fast, but couldn't slow down or they'd pass me again. And I didn't want to dodge between kids and people up the hill, which took most of mile 2.
Heading up the hill I was in 5th place. Three boys in front and a friend of mine who is wicked fast and ended up finishing in 17 and change. Mile two only climbed 146 feet, which is half of what the Cookie Toss Mile in my tempo run was, but it killed me. My calves really started to hurt.
At the start of the hill I heard one of the boys I was running with spit. It wasn't just a spit, it was the type that tells me he was tapped. I've noticed that when I have that dry spit I'm done, and when racing, if someone I'm with spits, soon they're dropping. But I encouraged him to keep going.
Regardless, soon I was in 4th place. The kid I was now running with was TINY, probably all of 80 pounds. But he was running strong. There was another boy in front of us, about 200 yards up the hill. I told the boy, "See him...he's dying. You got it. You're tougher than him, go get him. This race is yours."
He tried, and closed a significant portion of the gap, but at the end of mile two we headed down hill, and the other boy took off.
Once at the bottom of the hill I was toast, tooling along at a 6:45 pace or so, not pushing. I had no idea of my time as I'd just looked at my pace on the Garmin and thought that with the hill, there'd be no shot at a PR. I had a half mile left, just bring it on home...then BOOM, left calf totally locked up. I hopped, thought about stopping, but didn't want to be passed. How stupid is that?
I limped the rest of the way in. At the start of the chute I saw 19:57 on the clock ... Come on! I've been dying to run a sub-20 5K, this could've been my first.
I finished 4th, congratulated those in front and the small boy thanked me, twice, for pushing and encouraging him. That was as cool as anything else.
For my effort I got the race t-shirt, of course, and first place for each age group received these medals (females had female runners on theirs).
Here I am, pre-race:
We've been thinking about getting a dog for a while. We found a year
old Heinz 57 female, about 45 to 50 pounds, good with kids and people,
good with other dogs, house trained, crate trained, decently mannered,
(super athletic ... runner!), so we decided to give her a try. We got
home last night around 11pm, making for a LONG day. Here's the pic of
the puppy. Her current name is Zoey, but I think she looks like a Steve
We have an old Yorkie, Sadie. Sadie is a sweet dog, very submissive and well mannered. Sadie's been around a lot of big dogs, knows how to behave and yet handle herself. But Sadie doesn't like the new addition.
She expressed as much in the rudest fashion possible. I've never seen something like this from a dog before.
Sadie walked into Zoey's kennel this morning, squatted and relieved herself! Guess that's what she thinks of the situation!