HDR XC Series race #1 and some other stuff….

It seems that I have not posted since Tuesday. So, I have some catching up to do. Wednesday was an easy day of running with the Hillview kids at Marie Kerr. Well, it was not too easy. We did the sweet 16 workout!  Lots of drills! Later I headed to Valley PT for some more S and S…. Stretching and Squating…. Oh, and some ski erg.

Thursday was the first race of the summer XC series. We had a huge crowd of more than 200 runners! Lots of my students (and former students) were there, which always makes it fun. As usual, I ran the 1 mile race a s a warm up. Alan made us warm up runners start in the back and wait till the kids got out the gate as the race started. So, it began very easy. It took awhile for the path to clear up enough to start passing people. It took me a little over 9 minutes.

For the three mile race, I had a goal. Because of the XC series, I wanted to place as high as possible in my age division. The 50 plus group is typically a tough group. Some of the competition could include:

  • Steve Brumwell – Way faster than me, though he often opts to just run the one.
  • Clay Patten – Definitely faster than me at any thing shorter than a half, but his allergies bother him in the evenings. He was not there.
  • David Weary – Ran a strong Boston Marathon a couple of months ago. We have been pretty close of late depending on where we are at in our training.
  • Craig Conoway – I think he has a brother and they both typically are well in front of me.
  • Carlos Aguinaga – always wears a bandana. We have been pretty even the last year or two.
  • Jorge Rojas – Usually well in front of me at these races.
  • Jan Bercik – Not around all the time, but he is fast enough to beat me on a good day.

So, depending on who is there, and what point they are at in their training anything could happen. Before the race, and before producing the results there were actually a couple of more that I thought were competition: Ed Esse and Gerardo Vega.  Of course there are some younger guys that are fun to race…. Erik Ruble and Lance Close…..

As the race was starting I looked around for my competitors and I only spotted Carlos, David and at least one of the Laraways. I also noted where Erik was. Lance, btw, had told me that he was taking it easy for medical reasons. As the race took off, I felt I got out pretty good. I saw that Erik was up ahead, but could not tell if any of the others were. As we came off the first hills Carlos passed me. I tried to go with him, but he was moving really good. I stayed close and hoped that he was overdoing it. As we ran across the back of the soccer park I could still see him 20-30 meters ahead. I also saw Erik not too far ahead. As we dipped down into the connector between the parks, suddenly Carlos was right there in front of me. I happily went on by.  (After the race, though I figured out that”Carlos” turned out to be Gerardo. I never did catch Carlos.)  As we entered the back loop I was closing in on Erik. Running across the very back of the trail, by the freeway we were elbow and elbow together. We went around the uturn and headed back into the strong headwind. About that time Erik seemed to drop back, and Ed Esse appeared right in front of me. I got on Ed’s shoulder and followed him all the way through the gate back into the south park. Ed suddenly dropped back. In front of me were mostly young runners. I worried that Erik was right behind. A few times I had an opportunity for a glance and I would see someone right there. All the way across the north park and into the trail to go over the Rayburn hills one last time I felt him gaining. At the crest of the last hill (1/4 mile to go) I was finally passed. Alas, it was not Erik though. It was Vanessa Lopez! (What was she doing way back here?) (And boy, peripheral vision can sure be misleading!) From the top of the hill I spotted Erik about 50 meters back at the base of the hill. I dug deep figuring I had enough lead to hold him off from there.

The final result was 22:46 – 65th place overall and 2nd in my division behind Carlos. Carlos beat me by 30s. I figure, this was probably my best shot and besting Erik. He and Krysti just ran a half up in Mammoth and he was not recovered or ready for the race. David Weary was 3rd in the age group about 40s back. Craig Laraway was about 1 minute back in 4th.  Yeah! 5 more points in the Grand Prix Points contest – 1 point closer to Erik who was 3rd in the 40-49 age group. There was a guy there named Leopoldo Islas who is 41 and placed 3rd overall in 17:29! The 2nd place in his age group was Gabino Morones in 22:02.  Erik will have his work cut out for him trying to catch those two!

Friday – I had another easy day with the Hillview kids. We ran about 4 miles and then played some frisbee golf taking advantage of the sprinklers at the park – having fun getting wet to beat the heat we were already feeling!

Oh, I had one more final appt with Clay at Valley Physical Therapy. He really focused on the squats. I am getting much better. I can do them as long as I have a little weight for a counter balance. Clay told me to do sets of 10…. He said do 10 of them and then do the ski erg.  So, I did 100 squats!  Then a 1000 meter ski erg session. Afterward Clay asked me if I had done all 6 sets of squats!!! What??

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