Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Big Blue Adventure (takes 1, 2 & 3)

Not much to report about race #1 (Burton Creek). I was signed up and good to go, if a little out of shape compared to previous years. Then I pulled my calf quite badly during my last hard day four days before the race...tried to heal up...showed up that morning to give it a go, and made it 14 minutes into my warm-up before having to limp on in and watch everybody else race :( Race #2: Run to the Beach. Nowhere near healthy, but pretty confident I'd have no problem getting to the finish line. A beautiful day in Lake Tahoe. I knew once I saw Jeff that any hope of lucking my way into a win was out. It didn't help to be warmed up and ready to roll at 8:00 (the advertised start time) only to be told at 7:59 that the race would start at 8:15 (it actually started at 8:30 for reasons unknown). The first hill a minute or two in kilt me. Jeff was already pulling away, so that didn't matter, but I never got into anything even approaching a rythm. Heavy legs and lungs all race. Held on for dear life for a distant 2nd place in 20 minutes and change, and finally earned a few points in the series (though skipping the double points Tahoe City to Squaw race ain't gonna help). 9 points put me in a tie for 9th in the short series 3/8 of the way in. Race #3: Truckee Running Festival. Getting back into the swing of things. Still waaaay out of shape (almost 2 minutes off peak in a flat 5k) but running. The calf doesn't want to let go, leaving my daily adventures annoyingly day to day. Dave & I have managed to get up to elevation a few times, though, including the Mountain Run at Squaw, so this race at 6300 wasn't an issue. About a mile on grass, rolling bike path, then off-road in the middle, before the return trip. I followed Ryan and a young kid outta the gate. Ryan caught and passed the kid four minutes in and I followed. I got by Ryan on the uphill turn onto the trail. It would continue to be a fairly close pack of four til after half way, when I (thought) Ryan was the only one shadowing me. As it turns out, it was the two time defending Burton Creek 6k winner. He threatened to pass a couple times, and the last k was spent in crisis for both of us, but I managed to hold him off (18:36 to 18:43) for my first win in two months, and only my third of the year. A cushy pair of Salomon's will take the edge off the high entry fees for this series, and the fact that I only ran in two of the three I paid for. Next up after a relatively high quality 36 mile week is the SF Marathon (5k) on 7/29 and the Northstar Mountain Run (race #4 in the series) on 8/12. If I don't get murdelized on that climb, I can do some damage in the points series. I moved up from 9th into a tie for 2nd with last week's win, but Northstar is double points, and climbing is not exactly my forte anymore. Looking forward to it :) *Hmmm. I'm apparently working on an putdated browser...maybe I'll get to add a couple pictures later.