I ran the Fly Like an Eagle 5K, to support Erskine Academy‘s Senior Class this morning. I was surprised at the number of runners that showed up for a local race with 6 other races going on around the state this morning. I saw race numbers in the hundreds and it looked like about 100 people or so ran the race and a lot of volunteers.
I got to see Troy S. who I worked with at Hinckley at the race, it was very cool to reminisce about the old days, catch up on what each other is up to and find out any gossip that the other has about other old co-workers.
The course itself wasn’t easy.
For some reason, I just couldn’t find my rhythm until going up the second hill. Once we got on Weeks Mills Road, the wind (20+ mph) was directly in our faces. Which made it a lot colder and slowed us down too.
It was nice once we got back on the Windsor Rd, the wind was at our backs and there was less than a mile left. However, there was that one last hill that needed to be climbed. Not a bad hill, just in the wrong place on the course :-).
While the hills were not actually this steep, but they did get your attention. Actually I had more trouble with the steep downhill at the start than I did the last uphill. Maybe all the running I do around the house on the hills is paying off :-).
I was able to overtake one runner going up the hill and then a student from the school came huffing and puffing up the hill and passed me. I had passed her at mile 2 and coming around the corner had had about 30 yards on her before we got to the hill.
However, I noticed that she started to slow down slightly when she got to the top of the hill, so I decided see if I could pass her back. We passed each other a couple of times and with about 100 yards left I picked it up – not really a kick, more like a long surge and the other runner let me go.
When she passed me, I really hadn’t thought about going with her, but when I noticed that slight slow down and how hard she had exerted herself to catch and pass me on the hill, I had a feeling, she didn’t have a lot left and was just hanging on. Turned out I was right – I guess part of that being a veteran runnah thing.
It was just a little thing, but something you learn to look at when someone goes by you late in a race and I had a lot of experience at being passed, I haven’t forgotten everything yet.
During the race itself, I pushed only a little, purposely keeping myself around the 80% effort level. I finished unofficially in 23:48, which is a PR for me at this distance. I had plenty of energy left and felt strong once I got going.
I decided last week to run the race a little faster than usual, but not to go all out:
I wrote that on Tuesday and for a change, I didn’t get caught up in the race and try to do more than my current level of running fitness would comfortably allow. Yes I understand when racing you are supposed to “embrace the pain”. However, when I embrace the pain during a race, I tend to get injured, especially when I have not been training to run fast.
Here are a couple of the photos that I was able to squeeze out of the camera:
The rest of the photos were not all that great, oh well next time. I will also remember to charge the battery, so I don’t have to squeeze photos out of the camera.
I enjoyed hanging around after the race and talking with some of the other runners and even got to talk with a 64-year-old lady who had run in her first race EVER that morning! It was also pretty cool that she was running in Vibram Five Fingers and was asking about trail racing or running groups. I also got to meet Robin, who told me she had read my blog and recognized the “shirt” :-).
So I was very happy with my performance and the time. This race gives me a lot to build on and confidence that if I keep to my plan, that I will be more successful later this year. It was definitely better to use this race as a good training run and continue to build up my fitness, than it would have been to race the race and get injured.
Damn this getting wiser stuff as you get older ;-).
Thank you Erskine Academy for doing a great job on the race, the course was well-marked, everyone was friendly and helpful and the refreshments were just enough. However, I had to leave before the official results were up and I didn’t get to see the awards ceremony – which I enjoy. It is motivating to me to watch other runners get their reward for placing in their age group in a race. The sneaky part – it also allows me to see who the runners are that I need to run with at the start of a race (no guarantees I will be with them at the end :-), when I am in race shape.
Overall it was a very good second race of the year and I am looking forward to my next race, probably the Joseph’s 5K in Fairfield on 4/28 (my youngest daughter’s birthday). Just hope it is a little warmer, not so windy – I already know it will be a lot flatter 🙂