After warming up with the 5k, then imploring Rich not to run me into the ground. Didn't work. 40 yds in... 3.11 miles in...hurtin too early
At least I didn't swalow my gum this time
Dave finishing strong
Hannah @the line making fun of me. Point & laugh dear, point & laugh
Houston, we have a problem.
either celebrating or stretching...
she was putting in some more miles after the race...
Nathan & Hannah on the snake slide
Dang, that Sacramento Zoo has some funky lookin' kangaroos
Why two races in 1 post? Because I'm laaaaazy! Mwa ha ha ha. I hope the 2.7 of you that will read this are not too disappointed in me.
3rd Annual Trail Less Travelled
We actually found a race on Easter morning, and hit the trails near Lake Oroville on 4-4, much to my delight. I've been having a tiny run of bad luck lately. Nothing that couldn't be fixed by me running faster, but many of the races I've done lately are just downright faster than usual. Example, you ask? Well...in Portland, my time would've been good for 3rd-5th the last few...I got 7th. At Bidwell, 2nd or 3rd...I got fifth. In the last two races, it was a combination of the race being faster than recent years & just picking the wrong distance to win. In Lake Oroville, the top 3 or 4 guys ran a pace (for 6.55 miles with a BIG hill) faster than the winning 5k pace. Oh well. The "Quarter" marathon was cooler. Better views, and a kick a## downhill. This was only the third year, so when I scoped the results, I thought I had a shot to win. The 2009 CR was out of my reach (high 36) but the '08 winning time was 39 & change. I could do that...
I hate to admit it, but I pretty much knew the race was over before it began, barring earth shattering events. As we got out of the car, a familiar face jogged by. David Mosier, whom I ran with til he dropped me, in the Redding Marathon, who also happened to be said CR holder for this run, and he's just plain faster than me. Dang nabbit!! Oh well...just gotta go out there and put the hammer down. Try as I might, and I did for a couple minutes anyway, I just couldn't keep up, so by the time we got to the base of "the hill" (dun dun duuuuuun) I was already in no man's land between 1st & 3rd. Did I mention I suck on hills? Kinda my weakness this year - although I'm in better overall shape than 2009 - due to the nature of my injuries, and subsequent avoidance of serious hill training. So, I dragged my butt up the steep mile long climb, losing ground every step, and when I got to the top and made a sharp right, I saw I was no longer in no man's land, because I'd gone slow enough to allow third place to close the gap to about 10 yards. FRICK! Luckily for me, my forte is speed on downhills, and that's what came next. I was able to put the hammer down from mile 3-4.5, and maintain pretty good from there to the end, to finish comfortably in second by almost a minute, but more than 1:40 back from the leader, in 38:40. It ended up being a great training day, though. With a longish warm-up and longer cool-down (with David M) on the course and other side of the lake, I got in 14 1/2 miles, which is my longest day since January. Dave was happy enough with his run as well (though the hill sucked for him too), finishing 52nd in 68:11 & we headed back to Grass Valley for Easter festivities.
30th Annual Zoo Zoom 10k
4/11 was another shot at a 33 minute 10k, after dropping the ball at Davis in February. This was another race too, that was possibly winable...unless somebody showed up & broke the course record & stuff, but that wouldn't happen, right? Right?
Yeah, not so much. Not only did the CR fall, it fell in angry weather. The rain held off til later in the day, but there were some strong winds out there, & the winner was not running with anyone after the first couple minutes (I tried again but it just ain't workin, runnin with these faster guys) to break the wind. He ended up running...wait for it...31:21...on a windy course. Alone! That's 5:03 per mile, for those keeping score. My A goal this year is to hold a 5:20 pace...which would give me a low 33-, but my "if I can run this I won't be pissed" goal for the race was 33-something. 33:01 is splendid, but 33:59 would do. Just a 33. I feel it prudent to mention the starter told us the winner of the 5k, which had gone off 35 minutes prior, ran 17 minutes. Double FRICK!! It was actually just under, but c'mon. I'm a competitive guy, but I've been winning less lately, and I miss it. Oh well. I didn't know there was a 31 minute guy in the field, & the winning time the last two years in the 10k had been 35 minutes, but who is this I see - Rich Hanna, who pulled away from me in the last mile of the Bidwell Classic. Well, that was a decent race, but there was room for improvement. I'm confident in my training, just not my consistency, and it didn't help that I spent the first two hours after bedtime on the floor the night before, rather than trying to squeeze onto a queen size bed with my pregnant wife and squirming, won't closehermouthandjustgotosleep 3 year old. Seriously...ON THE FLOOR. When the movement & jabber stopped a while later, I was still wide awake, and squeezed onto the bed, staying as close to the edge as possible, to avoid Hannah'd piston-like feet. They're usually not so bad once she falls asleep, but when you have insomnia, it doesn't take much to keep you up all night. We're gonna have to rethink this next time we stay in a hotel.
Anyway, I said hi to Rich and Steve Bond, from Grass Valley, & we were off. Neither of them, though, reminded me this wasn't a 5k, though, & although I didn't know it at the time, I took off at 5k pace to keep the leader close. Which worked! For a mile. Running a 5:09 opening mile in a 10k (in a headwind) didn't effect my time much, although I'd venture a guess that if I'd run the first mile 10 seconds slower, each mile after would've been 4-5 seconds faster, but it sure made the remaining 5.2 a sufferfest that I wouldn't wish to repeat. I maintained semi-respectable splits, and came through the 5k in 16:42. Rich would catch me within a couple minutes on loop two, even encouraging me to stick with him (Have I mentioned what a good guy Rich is? He's a good guy!) but that only worked for a couple more minutes. As I faded in the wind, I was caught and passed for fourth place, athough I mustered some kind of response this time and didn't let him pull away. He got a gap on me a couple times, including with a mile left when one of his buddies yelled "take off the cruise control and make a move" and he did. Triple FRICK!!! He just took off, which made me think he had been toying with me. Kinda demoralizing when you're struggling, but then not long after, the gap wasn't getting bigger. Maybe even a stride smaller here and there. Check the watch. Still can get under 34 and salvage a respectable time if I pull my head out of my butt. The 6 mile sign did the trick. I'd developed a cramp trying to keep up with Steve, who was about 20 yards or so in front of me. It's hard to maintain a fast pace with a side cramp, but you can go for short bursts if you are willing to suffer, so when I saw that sign a couple hundred feet ahead, I just went. I passed him quickly but was waiting for another burst from him. I ran scared from mile 6-6.21, as you can see from the bug-eyed wide-mouthed (I needed AIR!) picture that Abby got 100 feet from the finish, and I eneded up getting 3rd back by 5 seconds, and finishing 12 seconds behind Rich, with a 33:44 (although I could have sworn the clock read 33:40 as I crossed). 5:26 per mile...6 seconds per mile to go and 2010 officially kicks heiny. Dave finished 268th out of 620 finishers with a 58:15, and Steve Bond ran another in a series of strong races, finishing 24th in 40:47!
Next up was a series of kids runs, with Hannah in the first of four, with the 4 & under crowd. We started up front, which may have been a bad idea, as Hannah takes a few seconds to respond to the gun or horn. She just kinda stands there and giggles as the kids all around her take off. But I was right behind her, camera in hand, and we sprinted about 40 feet before she was trampelled. That's the red blur pic I included up top, which I'm sure would have been a great action photo. After the carnage, which didn't phase her at all, I ran with her hand in one hand, and the camera in the other, as we were know surrounded by the flock. She loved every second of it, and even got a medal AND a race t-shirt for her troubles, as well as free admission to the zoo.
The Biggs's's's's from 3 doors down were planning on meeting us at the zoo if the weather held, and they got there just a few minutes after Hannah finished. We started to look for the awards ceremony for the 10k, which was in the zoo, and ended up getting the 8 of us in for free, although only three of us raced. OK, I now officially take 1 1/2 of the 3 fricks back. So, we got to see most of the zoo before the weather got really nasty, then proceeded to a new beer spot, just up I-5.
Brew It Up, which is a combination brewery-pub-brew it yourself personal brewery (there was a group there starting up a batch as we ate), well...rocks. Good food. Good service. Solid beers across the board (and we shared 20!). Even a couple styles that I usually don't get very excited about were standouts...the California Common and the Pale Ale. The big boys didn't disappoint either, as the Russian Imperial Stout, Barleywine, & Imperial IPA were three of their best.
So...next up in another string of races is the Run Rocklin 5k. I suppose me putting that in print is going to make a team of 15 minute 5k guys show up, but there it is anyway. Should be fun. I will not, however, be bothering with the pre-race hotel this time. Just a Sunday day trip, followed by Climb the Legacy 4/25. Must - run - faster!