Training Widget

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Spring HIll 5K

Day 10 - September 16, 2007

I woke this morning to the coldest temperatures of the fall. A chilly 43 degrees greeted me as I took that first step outside and loaded the family into the car. I was a little nervous that the cold might affect my breathing during the race, but as the sun rose, the air warmed up, and it turned out to be a perfect morning.

As I walked up to the starting line, the cold dew put a bit of a chill on my toes, but once the gun went off, it was the farthest thought from my mind. The race started at a cautious pace as the leaders jockeyed for position and tried to maintain their footing on the wet grass. Right from the start, it was clear who the eventual winner would be, but the remaining places were all up for grabs. Heading into the woods, I was in fourth, but slipped into third as I let it roll down the first hill. I maintained about a one step difference from the second place runner, but as the first hill came, my lack of training kicked in. I quickly lost a place back to fourth as the runner I had just passed charged up the hill and moved into second. As the second and third place runners started to gain separation, my focus shifted to climbing the hill.

Now there are lot of different definitions of what makes a hill, but this thing would have made even a seasoned ultra-marathoning trail runner take pause. Steeper than stairs and about 100 yards long, I was breathing like I had just finished a 400 meter dash and trying to not roll backwards down the hill. The best is - the hill had to be repeated on the second of the two loop course. After finishing that beast of a hill, we were rewarded with a long grassy down hill. The challenge here was the sun shining through the tree canopy directly into your eyes. It was so bad in fact that not only did I run into the branches of a protruding bush on the first lap, I managed to do it again (same bush) on the second.

Finishing the first lap, we were greeted by the music of the praise band which was encouraging. Momentarily, I forgot that I'd have to repeat that nasty hill. I was quickly reminded as the race turned back into the trails, and back across the creek. The hill was tougher the second time as the legs were a bit tired, but I maintained a slow and steady pace to the top. I picked up the pace as I headed back down the grassy path and tried to maintain contact with the third place runner. I kept peaking at my watch hoping I would be able to find some motivation to finish strong and be under that 23:15 goal I set.

The finish was about a quarter mile of asphalt up a steady grade before turning the final corner and up the short hill to the finish. Even as I was pounding down the black top, I was concerned I would come up short. Not willing to give up, I put my head down and pushed on, dug deep as I turned that last corner, and drove hard to the finish. As I broke the tape, I looked down and was pleasantly surprised to stop my watch and see 22:17 for my final time.

For a first annual race, Spring Hill did a great job pulling it off. They staggered the runners and walkers to minimize any interference, and had plenty of activities to keep the kids occupied so the parents could enjoy the race.

All in all, it was a great morning and I'm very pleased with my fourth place finish. Not running as quickly as I would have a few months ago was very good for keeping me motivated as I move into the second 10 days of this 1000 day journey.

Enjoy your Sunday,

Day: 10 .....Time/Date: 8:00AM 9/16/2007 .....Weather:Sunny, Low 50’sF
Run: SpringHill 5K+.... Miles: 4.0 ....Time: 29:02 .....Pace: 7:15 min/mile
Miles to Date: 32.9 .....Total Running Time: 4:12:24 .....Weight: 175

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