As I arrived at the YMCA this morning, I thought about the last couple of weeks, and how LITTLE running I had done. I have run 14 miles in 16 days – not exactly a good training regimen. Still, I figured I had a good shot at taking 2nd place in my age division, so that was my goal.
I am not sure how many ran this morning. Last year they had around 500! It looked at least as big! Some of the YMCA runs are notoriously non competitive. There have been times when I was 3rd place. That did not look to be the case today. In my age group, Clay was there (hence my goal of 2nd place.) Lots of high school runners seemed to be there. The Rubles were there, the Gutierrez family was there, Justin Patananan was there, Aleksey, Karl, Joe Kim, Lance, a number of my students…. There looked to be plenty of competition.
I set my Garmin Virtual Training Partner for a 21 minute 5k. I know that my last couple of races started too quickly and I wanted to go for a more consistent effort. Sure enough, everyone took off really fast and I eased into my pace. The first mile went by right on schedule: 6:41. I could see a few of my friends, students and rivals up ahead. I passed Natalie and Lance at about a mile. Lance, stayed with me and we went back and forth the rest of the way. Natalie faded back. On the last street of the residential section I got past Joe Kim and Brock Ruble. Oscar and student Jason Flores were not far up ahead. Oscar Jason and I were elbow to elbow negotiating the sidewalk on Ave L. We got ahead of Jason as we turned onto 15th. Oscar hung tough for another 100 meters or so before he finally dropped back. Jason, however stayed right beside. Jason was shooting for me today. He has not yet beat me at the 5k distance and I was thinking today could be his day. Heading up onto the bridge, Lance was just a few strides ahead. Jason seemed to be fading. Knowing how young and quick Jason was I wanted to put some distance between us before the final sprint – because I do not have one. Turning the last corner Lance stayed about 10 meters ahead. I heard someone sprinting up behind and thought, here he comes. It turned out to be another young runner. I finished around 21:30. A little slower than last year’s Turkey Trot but still one of my better 5ks of the year.
Oscar set a huge PR finishing about 10 or 15 seconds behind me. Cade Ruble was under 19 minutes and was the 3rd overall finisher behind Justin Patananan and a former Hillview, current QHHS runner Travis Cetti. Erik Ruble, Krysti Ruble, Joe Diorio, Natalie Gutierrez, Kathy Diorio, and Clay Patten represented the High Desert Runners winning 1st Place age group awards. HDR runners placing second were Cade Ruble, Elisa Espetia, Alan Brown, Joe Kim and myself. Dora and Karl won 3rd place a/g awards. That men’s 30 – 39 age group was tough…