Last weekend was another shot at a faster 5k time at the Bidwell Classic. Originally my goal had been to break 16 minutes in this race, but my knee had other ideas. Some days it's been a victory just to get out the door, while others feel "almost" normal, well, for me anyway. Since my initial sharp whatthehellwasthat pain in my knee, i've dropped down my miles while trying to maintain quality, and like I said, sometimes that's worked, sometimes not so much. On my treadmill time trial day 2 weeks ago (which was a good day) I managed a 16:17, which is o.k. if I can match that on a realcourse, but I've been slower of late on road, and had peaked a month ago with a 15:37! At that point, I was holding out hope for a 2010 5k pr, but alas (see second sentence reference to stupid-a** knee). So...now I'm 40 seconds slower...on a good day. Time to adjust the goals? Not quite yet. Last week I was able to manage a slightly better 2 x 2 mile workout which left me about 6-7 seconds per mile off peak pace (as opposed to 13 per the previous week) on a good day. Still havening madening consistency issues, but what'r'ya gonna do?
Abby & I met Robert & Callan Warner leaving Fleet Feet & grabbed some pre-race dinner at House of Bamboo in downtown Chico. CURRY IS GOOD. I LIKE CURRY. Everyone should like curry. We then checked in to the Holiday Inn, & Robert finagled us a 2 p.m. checkout, which meant...drums please...that's right: we were able to not only stick around and watch a few friends finish the half, but were there when Sierra Nevada Brewing opened their doors @11 (with hot showers still waiting for us after lunch)! We soaked thatnight for a few minutes in the near scalding hot tub, which actually did a nice job of loosening up my knee and hip. I'd guess right around 110. I'd go back in for a few minutes in the a.m. & the temperature had returned to a non-lonster boiling 104. So - got to the park feeling better than the day before, and ran and out and back warmup on the course. No hills at all. Niiiiice. I guess people in Chico don't like giving up any room on the line, though, so after a couple death glares as I made my way to the front (including a couple from kids &/or ladies that had no business being on the line) I made my way to the second row and had to run around about a dozen of them after the gun to get in behind the leader. From this point on, this was pretty much a repeat of No Excuses in May (go out fast, do some dirty phone breathing for a couple miles, hold on for dear life) but with slightly faster splits. I was in 2nd from 0.1-0.7, got passed by (eventual) 1st & 2nd place about 3-4 minutes in, & by timing guru & 45 year-old stud Rich Hannah at the bridge at mile 1.3. I stuck to him for most of the remainder of the race, and we were both catching the early leader at the end (who ended up third)...only 2.6 seconds ahead of Rich in 4th, & 4.8.seconds in front of me in 5th. Man those 6 seconds per sure would've come in handy. As it was, I ran 5:09, 5:19, 5:16, :30+ for a 16:15.0 & 5th place in the deepest Bidweel field in recent years (16:15 would've been #2, #1, or #2 the last 3 years). Inhaling my gum 7 minutes in provided the only entertainment of the morning. Robert came in just ahead of his son Callan (who he'd been pacing) at 20:44, and 12 year old Callan narrowly missed a pr at 21:18, and won his age group. Neel had a nice run in the half, & we even had lunch with a few other Grass Valley runners as well. For me, it was my first official age-graded 80 of the year (first since the Davis TT in November), but I still have work to do to either break 16:00 or dare I say it...run a pr. That would mean cutting 25 seconds. Unlikely, but possible if I can ever hea up a bit without starting over fitness-wise...again! I had a great interval workout yesterday, but pissed the knee off all over again after a stair workout today. Nothing hard, but it's not happy. PT was a joke. Usually it'll feel like it helped for at least the rest of the night and you wake up feeling the same. Today I knew before I left that ot hadn't done any good. Oh well...Friday we leave for Portland, and an 8k where the leader may break 24 freakin minutes. Hope I can find my A game before then (I'd settle for a B+).