Tuesday, December 2, 2013
So I missed my self-imposed deadline of posting on Thanksgiving, which, in retrospect, was probably doomed from the get-go. Anyways, it’s been just over a week since the Pacific Association XC Championships took place in Golden Gate Park. Our team was sitting in 2nd place heading into the meet. We ended up placing 2nd overall at PA’s, which resulted in a tie between us and Strawberry Canyon. No one knows if there’s a tiebreaker or not (I don’t think there is), so it looks like we’ll finish the season tied for the series victory. Not quite as good as winning it outright, but considering we let a lot of the early races go without fielding a team, we’ll take it. On the other hand, our masters’ team absolutely wiped the floor with the competition, placing 5 out of the top 6 guys. They’ll be a force to be reckoned with come nationals.
Personally, the race unfolded just about perfectly. I didn’t go out with the lead pack, and was probably about 15 seconds off the front through the first mile. I moved up a couple of spots during the next few miles, staying consistent. My first mile was 5:10 and I was at 15:00 at mile 3, so I was running evenly and slowly moving up. I could see the lead pack beginning to break up on the downhill in the 5th mile, and hoped that if I was able to maintain my pace, I could move up several spots before the finish. With about a half mile to go, I moved by 4-5 guys and into 4th place, where I finished. I ran about 20-30 seconds faster than last year, so I was really happy with the result. It was also nice to be able to race like that only 2 weeks after the 50k. I didn’t necessarily feel fast during the race, but I felt really strong and spent the first couple laps really enjoying the event and grinning like an idiot. In my defense, I was having a lot of fun.
On Thanksgiving Day, I ran the Marin Runs Turkey Trot up at Indian Valley College. I wasn’t sure if anyone would show up, so when another guy took it out decently fast for the first couple miles, I just sat on his shoulder to see how it would play out. He blew up around 2.5 miles into the race, so the last couple miles were spent pretty much alone. The last mile on that course is deceptively hard, with a good amount of climbing over some rolling hills. All in all, a good 2nd workout for the week and it was much easier to motivate myself to run fast in a race setting than it would have been to on the track.
On Friday/Saturday, I was down in Fresno with the Branson girl’s xc team. Going into the race, it was projected to be very close between them and 2 other schools. But the girls took all of it in stride, showed remarkable poise on race day, and got the job done, winning the D5 state title. My only regret is that I couldn’t spend more time with the team (guys and girls) during the season. I got to see their last couple races, which was great, but I really hope to be more present in the future. So congrats to them! Not sure when I’ll post next, but it will probably be after nationals in Bend. I’m excited to run and see what I can do.