Race Reports

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Race report: Shooting for 21 years

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

As most of you probably know, one thing I take great pride in is my consistency. I may not have the great peaks that some runners around me have had but I keep plugging away all the time. The best representation of that is my streak of consecutive years having run at least one sub-17 5K.

I never broke 17 minutes in high school. My first ever sub-17 didn’t come until I was about a month shy of my 19th birthday. However, once I went sub-17, I haven’t looked back. No, not every 5K I’ve run since has been a sub-17. However, for every calendar year since my first time under 17 minutes in 1996, I’ve managed to go under 17 minutes at least once. This year, as has been the case a handful of times recently, it all came down to my last planned race of the year.

Coming off subpar performances in both of my prior races this fall, my confidence was a little shaken. I’ve done this every year for 20 years, I know how to do it. However, do I physically have what it takes this year? Going into the fall, I felt my training was slightly better than last year but both races I ran were well off what I expected of myself and I just didn’t feel that quickness on race day.

After Al’s Run (I still owe a report on that, it’s mostly written up, I’ll post it soon) I was very concerned about the streak but I also quickly formed a plan. My endurance isn’t my limiting factor, my ability to get up to a quick speed isn’t my limiting factor. It’s my ability/confidence to hold that speed that’s lacking. So I set out a training plan with lots of half mile repeats at or close to 5K pace.

I started this plan 3 days after Al’s Run and ran enough half mile repeats over the next month that I think I burned myself out a bit. That said, I now had the confidence that I could hold pace and I could feel that pace in my sleep. With a taper, my legs came back to me and I was feeling ready. Mostly confident but not quite as sure of myself as I usually am.

On race day, I was still telling myself I know I can do this and my legs just know how to run sub-17 in October. The weather was nearly perfect. I convinced myself it was going to happen. It would be close but it was going to happen.

After a longer than planned warmup, it was race time. There were a couple high schoolers there. The grandson of the race director has been gunning for me for a while and he’s been getting closer every year. Another high schooler I talked with for a while before the race is a sprinter who does cross country for stamina training in preparation for the 400. He wasn’t expecting to be much competition for me. As always, though, this is where I go to run fast. I don’t care what the competition is. I’m going to run hard gun to tape and see what happens.

At the start, the director’s grandson went with me. I expected him to gradually drop back pretty early but he held on. And he kept holding on. I was a little worried that I might not be going as fast as I expected but I just focused on keeping a quick rhythm. I was trying to get out hard but, obviously, I don’t want to take off sprinting in the first half mile of a 5K.

Shortly before the half mile, we take a turn and leave the park where the race starts and head out to a bike trail. About this time, I noticed I was getting separation. OK, if things go to plan, I’m running the rest of this by myself. Just keep pushing. Up an incline to cross a highway, then back down the other side. I see the people who will be giving mile splits ahead and just keep pushing toward them.

As I approach them, the guy calls out 5:25. Given the fact that I thought I heard a 5:34 split last year and ended up with a 16:45, this means I’m either in good position or going to pay for the faster start later. Either way, the only thing that I can do right now is keep being aggressive. I keep pushing with the empty trail ahead of me to the turnaround and get around there while losing as little momentum as possible.

On the way back, I can see I have a respectable lead on second, the race director’s grandson, and he has a solid lead on third, the sprinter. I give both a thumbs up as I run by them, then try to draw on some inspiration from seeing the other runners go by. I keep pushing, reminding myself that every step counts, but feel like I’m fading just a bit. I remember that I have some cushion so that fade isn’t the end of the world but I can’t keep fading. That gets me going again.

Into the third mile, I keep fighting this. I feel like I’m fading but I keep pushing harder. If I am actually fading, it’s not much. I believe I can do this.

After crossing the highway, I’m back on the course with the 1 mile walkers heading out. They are using the whole trail but most see me with plenty of time and give room to pass. I’m a little worried at a few points about kids who seem to be all over the trail getting very close to me but, fortunately, there aren’t any incidents. At the turn into the park, I had to find my way through a bit of traffic but did so fairly easily and without incident. Then I have the park to myself. With about a half mile to go, it’s me against the clock. I push harder, harder, feel like I’m speeding up a bit. I see the mark I picked out as 1/4 mile to go during my warmup and push more. I get off the trail and know I’m at the 3 mile mark. I try kicking but I have nothing left. All I can do is hope that, when I see the clock, I like what I see.

Then I see the clock. Low 16:40s and I know I have less than 10 seconds to go. I did it! Even after the tough fall season I had, I came through again with another sub-17. I keep pushing to see how far under I can go but my legs are shot. I pretty much just maintain pace and end up crossing the line in 16:51.

That’s 6 seconds slower than last year after I believe being 9 seconds faster at the mile. I’ll take it, though. It’s a sub-17 and I really think I needed a fast start this year given how my past two races went. I needed to get the legs fired up, then just do what I can to hold on.

If the mile split was accurate, I did something else interesting. It looks like I averaged 5:25 per mile, matching my first mile split. I knew I didn’t fade much, if at all, when I felt like I was fading. I knew I managed to get the pace back up. I didn’t realize it all worked out to be overall such an even race.

So the streak lives on. 21 consecutive years with a sub-17 5K. Now, it’s time to start planning my path toward my 22nd consecutive year. Maybe I’ll come up with a strategy that won’t have me waiting until October.

Hootie Hustle – 5K

This article was originally posted by Ed at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

The weather for race day seemed like it wouldn’t be very promising to set a PR. Ryan and I had discussed this and I decided that, like Ryan said, we don’t need to worry about time just place. I figured I would do my best to get and stay ahead of as many people as possible and then pass as many as I could while gutting it out to the end.

My wife Debby came out to support me and that was nice to have her drive (and be there for me) so I could refocus my race day nerves and anxiety. She has an amazing calming effect on me that I really appreciate. We pulled in right next to Coach Hill. It was raining lightly as I went to get my packet. I was thinking, last year it was rainy and cool and I PR’d then, so maybe . . .

I asked for my packet and got one of the biggest compliments ever. The lady running the event said she was waiting and waiting to see me register and was excited when she saw that I registered. REALY – me?! That was a little boost of confidence.

Got back to the car and the rain was picking up a bit. I pinned the bib on, relaxed a little bit more and asked Ryan if he was ready to warm-up. We headed out for a very easy paced warm-up of 1.32 miles at an 8:37 pace. We stretched a little and changed into Race Gear. Then like in Ryan’s race report we headed over to the bleachers under the press box for some final stretching and warm-up. We did some strides on the track and I was unusually calm.

We lined up at the starting line and when they counted down – we took off. I immediately found myself in very odd territory. I was just behind Ryan with no one else ahead of us – I was in second place. I checked my Garmin to be sure that I wasn’t blowing myself up to die in the end and I was out a bit quick with the 1st quarter mile in 1:24 or 5:36 per mile. I didn’t have to worry about slowing it down because Ryan did as did the two guys behind me. I got through mile one in 5:57 – I was hoping to be a bit quicker but this is good because I was conserving energy with the two guys not dropping off from us.

I contemplated trying to catch Ryan who wasn’t but a couple of seconds ahead of me to let him know that we needed pick it up or the two guys behind us might make a move and catch us but I decided against it. That was good because we had indeed picked it up a little bit finishing mile two in about a 5:53 pace. I was hurting a bit but knew that 1.128 miles should be easy and that was all I had left to go. I pushed on trying to slowly gap the guys behind me. I started looking behind me at turns to try and gauge how the two threats were doing. I saw that one of the guys had dropped off and now I had to fight to keep second as one guy was about three to four seconds behind me.

I knew that there was a good downhill portion coming up on which I could open up and hopefully put a bit more space on him. At this point I quit checking on him because I didn’t feel like I was going to fade. As I reflect a little, I wasn’t even thinking of getting second place just staying ahead of the guy behind me. I was in such a tunnel vision that I don’t recall even seeing Ryan just ahead of me. I was trying to listen to race volunteers that cheered for us as we passed to hear how close the guy behind was. But I couldn’t tell.

As I made the tight turn and headed onto the track I knew I had about a quarter mile to go – that is short no matter how much I am hurting at this point. The third mile (I didn’t know it at the time) was run in 5:36; my fastest mile ever. I pushed as hard as I could around that track unaware of anything other than the finish line and my inability to breathe anymore. I turned to go straight up the football field toward the 50 yard line ready to collapse. I saw the clock in the very low 18s and thought “this is a new PR!” I ran through the finish line and fell to the ground dizzy, light headed and gasping for air.

Ryan, being a good coach, wouldn’t let me lay on the ground. He helped me up and got me walking. We figured I came in somewhere just under 18:10 another PR and my highest ever finish – 2nd place!

I ended up running 18:06 which is 24 seconds faster than last year at this same event and a new PR by eight seconds! Very happy with these results –

http://media.wix.com/ugd/d60b0e_add9b592616f4573a3defc34c18f8ce7.pdf

Event page – https://www.honoursinc.com/!results-and-photos-2015/ybyri

Race report: 2016 Hootie Hustle 5K

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

I’m cheating a little bit and this week’s blog post will be my race report. At this point, I don’t intend to make this a regular thing but I simply have too much going on right now. Hopefully, things will settle in over the next week or two and I’ll be back on a regular routine.

My lead up to this race wasn’t ideal. It’s been a very busy summer in general, then it turns out the Hootie Hustle happened to be exactly 3 months before the Seattle Marathon, which meant I spent the 2 weeks before the race writing training plans. I love helping these runners so it’s a great joy doing so but I’ll be honest. It’s not exactly the ideal way to prepare for a race. Plus, I had a lot going on at work and at home.

That said, this is my hometown race. It’s a race to support the scholarship program at the school district my daughter goes to. Not only do I want to run it but I want to do all I can to support it. On that note, HillRunner.com for the first time ever sponsored a race.

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Proud to be among the sponsors!

I’m very proud to support this event and look forward to doing so again in the future.

As for the race, my preparation wasn’t ideal but I am the two time defending champion heading into the third running of the event. I believe in myself and trust myself to do all I can to defend the title. The past two years, I ran faster than I would have expected on this course and I kept thinking I had more and maybe could even flirt with a sub-17 if things went right.

Given that, I showed up at the race to see a light rain falling as I checked in and went back to the car to stay dry. Ed showed up as I was pinning my bib to my singlet and parked right next to me. I relaxed a bit more, then got prepared for warmup time.

Ed and I went out for our warmup just as the rain was letting up and was down to virtually nothing. Maybe this would be like last year, drying out just in time for warmup and race time.

We arrived back just as the kids run was finishing up, went to our cars, then made our way toward the starting area at the track. I was making my way to the high jump apron to set up camp when the rain started coming hard so I decided instead to go under the bleachers and ended up finding a much more dry spot under the press box, where I stretched and got ready to do some strides.

Just as Ed and I were about to head out for strides, the rain let up but didn’t completely stop so I grabbed my things and took them out to the high jump apron. Then we set off on a 1 lap acceleration and got in a couple strides before the start of the race.

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Hey Ed, whatcha doin’?

At the start of the race, I went straight to the lead. After slowing down to navigate a hard turn, I accelerated back to what I felt I could hold and found myself "alone" in front. By "alone" I mean nobody right next to me but I could hear at least a couple people right behind me, maybe a step or two back.

Around a few turns, then we head back into a residential area and start the long, gradual climb to roughly the halfway point. By this point, I can already feel that things aren’t quite right. My legs are just flat. I can feel that the pace isn’t really challenging me but I just can’t go faster. My legs just won’t go. At this point, I figure I’ll ride out the climb and hope the downhill in the second half gets me going.

Through the mile, I can still hear someone right behind me and just have a sense it’s Ed. I actually have a thought at about the mile mark that my time isn’t going to be something I’m thrilled with so I could just drop back with Ed and help him through the race. Then I think better of it. I tell myself Ed would rather do this by himself. Besides, I’m still close enough that I’m giving him a target, which might work better than running with him to pull him through. Plus, a little selfishly, this is my home town race, not his. I want to make sure I do all I can to win. I know Ed is a speedster and I’m not so I don’t want to leave it to a kick.

I work my way up to the middle school at the high point of the course and, while probably a little before the halfway point, given the early climb and late descent, what I think of as the halfway point effort wise. Starting a very gradual downhill, I try to find a good rhythm and stretch out the legs but now it’s clear this race is going to be a battle. Just not my day for a fast time.

I keep pushing, steal a couple looks back to see Ed not far behind and another guy I recognize but can’t quite place just behind Ed. I keep hoping Ed can gap this guy, while selfishly hoping I can get a little more distance on Ed.

Finally, we get past the mile 2 mark and hit a nice downhill. Again, I try to open up the stride but there’s only so fast my legs are going to go. Even with the assistance of gravity, the legs just won’t move faster. I do what I can and keep telling myself the finish line is near. Around a left turn, then a right, then a hard left and toward the track.

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Almost to the track

Finishing with a lap around the track, then running into the 50 yard line of the football field, I know this means I have about 400 meters to go. I’m feeling fairly comfortable with my lead but I’m still not taking anything for granted. Again, I know Ed is a speedster and I’m not. I give it all I have as soon as I hit the track and try to separate a bit more. I’m not sure if it’s working but I don’t feel anyone coming up on me so I cruise in as well as I can.

As I’m approaching the finish line, I see the clock ticking toward 18 minutes. I think I can get in under 18 but it’s going to be close. I’m pretty sure I cross the finish line with the clock showing 17:59 but I’m officially given 18:00. Oh well, it’s not like this is a time I’m going to get excited about whether it’s 17:59 or 18:00.

I then turn around and I have to say the highlight of the race for me was seeing Ed coming in right behind me. He finishes in 18:06 and third place, who I realized after getting home is actually the dad of one of my daughter’s friends, is not too far behind Ed.

In reviewing the race, I got thinking about my races at the Hank Aaron 5K. I always struggle to run fast there, then have no problem running fast after that. I always chalked it up to the course and the early August heat and humidity. Now, I’m beginning to wonder if, after a summer of slower running due to the heat, I need one good race in my legs before I’m really ready to run fast. This year, I didn’t do Hank Aaron so this became that race.

Regardless, I’m happy to get the home town win. I’m thrilled to see how well Ed ran. And I’m very motivated to come back at Al’s Run and prove that I’m capable of more.

Kenosha YMCA Firecracker Run 5K

This article was originally posted by Ed at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

Was not planning on this race at all it came up as a last minute opportunity so Coach Hill and I fit it into the schedule. Had a little something to eat about 2.5 hours prior to race start time as that worked very well for the Hootie Hustle last year and the Deer Run this year. The family and I left early as it was a long drive from Port Washington to Kenosha. I tried some meditating to ease my pre-race anxiety and nerves.

We got there in plenty of time, I registered and eventually warmed-up for two miles at an easy pace. I felt like I was almost walking yet it was at a 7:34 per mile pace – that gave me some confidence going into the race. I ran over the end 1.2 mile of the course so I knew what I was in for at the end. I stretched a bit then did some strides. I should have held the strides down to the goal pace of between 10.2 and 10.3 MPH but I ran them fairly hard.

Lining up for the race which tried hard to have a corral system it was apparent that folks were not listening. At the start lots of people took off hard and fast and I had to weave through those that didn’t listen about the corral system. I didn’t let that fast start group pull me out too much but I did realize I was still a bit too much over the pace I knew I could maintain.

I went through mile one in 5:47 – very close to where I wanted to be – maybe a bit fast. I was with the lead group of folks some of whom were running the 10K and they formed an echelon so I tucked in behind center and let them break the air for me. During the second mile I was wondering how I was going to hold the pace. The sun was very warm and I was sweating pretty hard. I was considering trying to grab a water but decided against it since I have never tried to drink at this pace. Hit mile two at 11:39 so the second mile had slowed too much to a 5:52 pace. I then knew that mile three would be a mental battle.

Going into mile three the pack was broken up and I was hanging with some really young guy who was doing the 10K. We chatted a tiny bit (it was pretty tough to chat at all.) The sun at this point felt very hot and I was afraid of the wheels falling off and my crashing. I kept thinking that my wife and children were at the finish line waiting for me and I wanted them to be proud so I fought hard.

Right around 2.75 miles I was again in no-man’s land. Too far behind the guy in front of me to catch him and enough of a lead on the guy behind me that I just had to maintain and not blow up to beat him. If I had a greater lead on the guy behind me I may have pushed harder sooner but I didn’t. At mile three (17:34) I had slowed even more to a 5:55 pace – not happy with that at all and knew that a sub 18 was out but I was determined to make a hard final kick.

I made the final turn and people were cheering nice and loud. I could hear my wife cheering for me and I surged as best I could – it wasn’t much but it was what I had. I hit the final .128 miles in a slow 40 seconds.

Not a bad race at all. Took fifth overall once again and again won my age group. I won my age group by an impressive time of 4:43 which is huge for a 5K!

The announcer even stammered a bit when he read my time – that made me proud!

Thank you Coach Hill for all your guidance you are helping me achieve some great results!

https://www.itsyourrace.com/results.aspx?id=5959

Race report: 2016 Walleye Run double

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

Over recent years, I’ve fallen into a routine at the Walleye Run. Show up, run 28 something, finish in the top 10, sometimes top 5 depending on who shows up. Feeling a little bored with the routine, I started wondering how often the double is done. With the 5 mile starting at 8:10 and the 2 mile at 9:25, the double seems very possible.

Interestingly, as I scanned the results of the past few years, I couldn’t find anyone in the top 10 of either race who also was in the results of the other race. After long consideration, I decided I was just the guy to break that trend. So I registered for both races.

Little did I know at the time I registered that the weather alone would offer all the additional challenge I would need this year. Not only was it hot out there but the heat came suddenly with no time to get used to it. Tuesday, I was wearing a t-shirt for my final pre-race workout and still feeling a bit chilled. Wednesday and Thursday, I was running shirtless again but was a little chilled when starting my runs. By Friday, the heat had started. I had the telltale sign of not yet being acclimated to the heat, a salty crust along the sweat line in my shorts after the short Friday run.

Given the heat, I knew times were going to be off. Interestingly, it didn’t seem "hot" when I arrived in Fond du Lac. It was definitely very warm but not hot. Then I warmed up. About 12 minutes of easy running with just one relatively short acceleration and I was sweating uncontrollably. OK, yes, it’s hot.

I did the remainder of my warmup and lined up for the 5 mile. At the start, I didn’t see anyone I personally knew but I did recognize some of the top runners from prior years.

5 mile

As the air horn sounded, I got out well but under control. Then I settled in. I counted out myself to be in 12th place about 1/4 mile in, then moved to the lead of the pack I was in, placing myself in the top 10. There were two runners who clearly separated themselves out front, then a group of I believe 3 runners and another group of I believe 4. I quickly got ahead of some high school runners probably a little past the 1/2 mile mark, then set out for the next runners.

Approaching the mile mark, a runner behind me was running so close that he didn’t clip my heel but actually the sole of my shoe during my back kick. He apologized but didn’t really move. Shortly after the mile mark, he did the same thing but this time moved to the side a bit. Around a corner, he passed me. He was wearing a Marquette jersey. He might have been a Marquette runner but, if so, I would have expected him to already be ahead of me. At this point, the field already thinned a bit and I was in 6th. There was an orange shirt up ahead in 3rd, then a guy in white in 4th. Marquette guy was running away from me in 5th. I actually picked out the orange shirt guy as my most likely ticket to the top 5 because he seemed to be struggling already, only about 1.5 miles in. When Marquette guy caught the guy in white, the guy in white went with him. Around the 2 mile mark, they passed orange shirt guy and my chase was on.

At the 2 mile mark, I poured some water on my head at an aid station and set out for orange guy. Around a right turn and I was closing in on him. Not too much later, around a long, gradual bend to the left, I passed him. He left room to the inside and I took the short line to pass.

Not long after the pass, I could tell someone was behind me. I wanted to push harder to try to keep a gap but the heat was hurting me pretty badly. I tried pushing but felt like I was maxing out. I thought for a moment about letting up, trying to regain my energy, and being ready to respond when this guy caught me. Then I thought better of it.

Shortly before the 3 mile mark, he caught me. A guy in a Badgers jersey (I’m sure this guy wasn’t on the team). He wasn’t alone, either. A guy in an Oshkosh jersey was with him. Through the 3 mile mark, then heading toward a left turn. I didn’t want trouble at the turn so I put in a bit of a surge so I had a step on everyone and got through that turn clean. After a bit of leading after that, I decided to let up just a bit so someone else could take the lead and share the pacing effort. Badger guy went by and I sat right on his heels for a bit before I couldn’t maintain the pace. As he left me, Oshkosh guy went with him. Badger guy got a step or two on Oshkosh guy, Oshkosh guy got 2-3 steps on me, then we all just held. Through another aid station with another cup of water on my head, and we continued to hold.

Suddenly, late in mile 4, Oshkosh guy stepped off the road and stopped running. I couldn’t see any obvious problems, figured maybe the heat got the best of him, then kept on going. Badger guy was gapping me but I felt like I had a nice lead on the next runner. Here I am, solidly in 6th place as I enter the final mile.

Through the final mile, I tried to keep close. As I had just seen, anything can happen in the heat. If I stay as close as possible, I will be ready to take advantage and slip into the top 5 if anything does happen.

Interestingly, I noticed that, on long stretches, I could still see all the way up to second place. If anyone other than the leader falters, it doesn’t seem like my chances of catching him are zero. That said, I know at this point that I’m not catching anyone unless they falter. The heat is getting the best of me and I just want to get to the finish line in one piece.

Around a near 180 degree turn near the finish, I glance back to the other side and see I have a solid lead over a pack of about 4 runners behind me. This gives me comfort and lets me not kick all out, saving something for the next race. Coming into the finish line, the clock is ticking through the 30:50s. I’m pretty sure I finish in under 31 minutes.

In the end, it was under 31 minutes – just barely. The final result shows me 6th in 30:59. Not a great time but the place leaves me thinking the effort was in line with prior years.

Now, I grab a few cups of water and head back to my warmup gear. I talk with some people who have a family member on the course a bit, stretch some, then head out to run a mile. That mile, including a couple accelerations, went better than I expected. I stretch some more, then head to the start where I see Josh. We chat some while I’m trying to keep loose. I get in a few strides that feel good but not great, just what I would expect, and we line up.

2 mile

At the start of the 2 mile, again, I get out well. In fact, very early, I count myself in 6th place before settling in. Then some fast starters go by me.

By 1/4 mile, I get ahead of the pretenders and find myself somewhere around 10th place. I count out the runners and figure I have a chance at a double 6th place finish. A pack ahead seems very catchable and 6th is in there. I feel a little too under control, so I accelerate.

That’s when the first sign of trouble hit. My right calf rebels with a mild cramp and I stutter stepp a bit. I settle back in before again trying to accelerate and the right calf cramps again. I try a few more times with the same result. Then I try once more and the right calf, immediately followed by the left calf, cramp. I almost stumble but manage to keep my feet. So I am now forced to just maintain the pace my calves will allow.

Shortly after this, someone behind me asks if I’m the guy who ran the 5 mile. I give a thumbs up and he makes a comment suggesting he also did.

I continue pushing as fast as I can with the calves rebelling. Trying to push harder only to have the calves tell me no. Pretty soon, the Oshkosh guy from the 5 mile goes by. He’s the last guy I’m expecting to be the one who also is doing the double, given the fact that I watched him walk off the course. He catches up to a couple other runners up ahead as I continue to try to find a way to pick up the pace.

At this point, I’m getting frustrated. I want to run harder. Aerobically, I feel very much within myself. I feel like I have so much more in me but the calves are preventing me from using it. I’m trying to run flat footed but you can only go so fast while trying to not push off with your forefoot. I’m trying to push harder but my calves keep saying no. This is the story of most of the rest of the race.

With about 1/4 mile to go, the women’s leader pulls up alongside me. I wish her well, say finish strong or something like that, and expect her to pull away from me. She gets about a step but then I come back on her. We run side by side for a bit, then she pulls ahead again and I pull even again. This continues until near the finish, at which point she kicks and I feel a combination of "I can’t" and "I don’t want to be that idiot who tries to steal the spotlight from the women’s winner". So I just cruise in. As far as I am aware in 10th overall, right around 12:10.

After the race, I talk with Oshkosh guy (Matt) for a bit, then catch up with Josh, who was talking with a runner who finished near him. Then we go check out the results. It turns out I was 11th in 12:12. Darn, missed a top 10 finish in both races.

As it turns out, Matt and I weren’t the only doublers. Laura, the runner who finished right in front of me in the 2 mile, not only doubled but got the double victory, first lady and 10th overall in both races. What a performance on a tough day!

Results:

5 mile: 6th overall, 30:59

2 mile: 11th overall, 12:12

It might seem strange to say this given my 2 mile experience but I’m glad I did the double. I also am looking forward to giving it another chance. I have been slacking a bit on my strength training, especially for the lower legs. I have no doubt doing a better job with that would go a long way toward setting myself up for a better experience. Some nicer weather would also help. I look forward to going back next year and finishing in the top 10 in both races.

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