I really enjoy going to races. I love the trip there. I love camping. I love the people. I love the competition. I love everything about race.
I don’t like when I suck eggs in the race.
Whatever though. That doesn’t happen very much… and not this time!
This weekend I did two races again and I experienced joy and pleasure to levels that I don’t even think are allowed.
Is there a limit?
Saturday morning I woke up early to head over to the Tavares Nature Park for round 3 of the Winter Trail Running series. I really am enjoying running these races. I set time goals and I go out on the course with the intent of running hard for 20-ish minutes and seeing what the clock looks like in the end. No pressure just a workout with a few other people around to keep me honest.
18:24 for an off road 5k seems about right. Likely should be faster. This time is deceptive though. The course was a little short. Truth is I’m really struggling to get back my speed for these 5k’s. I should run well under 18 minutes. The time I bet would have been in the 19 minute race. Oh well. A good workout was had.
Then it was off to Santos for some mountain bike riding. I rode a lot harder then I wanted to but again, whatever. It was a workout. The flat tire at the end didn’t please me. I guess those things happen. A 10 minute ride in on the roads with a flat back tire and I was at my car.
No harm, no foul.
Now I could have driven home then headed to the morning’s race early. I really didn’t enjoy the prospects of the 4am wake up call. What the hell. I’ll drive to the race and camp.
The ideal, perfect work plan was to find a quite dirt road with a long dead end fire road or something. I’d park my car and lay out my sleeping bag for a night under the stars.
Crap. Couldn’t find anything like that. I did find a pull-out on a road with massive trucks driving 70 miles per hour and the sound of dogs in the distance. Sleeping in the car became a grand sounding idea.
I “slept” from 9pm till 7:15am. I did a bit of tossing and turning but truth be told I slept all right.
No, you are NEVER too old to sleep in your car the night before a race!
Now on to the race at Alafia State Park. Trail Half Marathon. Rock and roll, baby; my kind of party.
I pull up to the race course and get out of the car.
Holy crap my legs are tired…and I was sore from head to toe. Lol. Not the ideal feeling before a 13.1 miles race. Whatever.
Pay my fee, pin on my number…set and go.
Settled into a decent rhythm with a group of guys. We weren’t going super fast but that was the idea and the plan. Really steady so that I didn’t have to suffer and do the death march the last 5 miles.
After about 4 miles the fellas started to bore me.
I elbowed my way to the front and went hunting. I passed a few runners and found myself around top 10 last.
I was running a good clip (about 7min per mile) and I felt good about my day. I wasn’t having a banner day but I was moving forward. THAT was goal number one.
The last 3 miles were stupid hard. 75% of it was on EXPERT mountain bike trails. Fantastic! I managed to reel a guy in late and slide into 9th place. 3 guys were right in front of me at the end.
Just didn’t have the stones to bring them back.
In the end I ran 1:32:06 for 9th place. Sounds like a results to me.
Even better is that I found 85 geocaches on the way home. NOW that is my kind of party!