Technically, it is a PCR…. Personal Course Record. Keeping track of Personal Records on cross country courses is different. They have different lengths and different hills. Even the HDR Summer XC Series course has changed a bunch of times over the years that I have been running it. The current course only goes back to last year – 2016. Someone set it up as a Strava Segment so it is easy to check records….
I got to the park today feeling much better than last week. Last week I wasn’t even sure I would be able to run it until I got there. Today, I was better, but still a little on the sore / fatigued side due to the excercises I had done with my students during Monday’s “rock set” workout and Wednesday’s Sweet 16.
I talked a bit with Joe Kim before the race and he assured me that he was going to take it easy today and that I should go try to beat Mark Hershey….. I was rather skeptical about how easy he would take it, but I decided to go get a good start and see if I could hang with these guys…. reminder: last week I finished 4th in my age group behind Joe, Mark and Adam Conoway.
I lined up 4 rows or so back on the right side, knowing that I could use the grass and follow the kids ahead of me for a quick get away. We took off. I noticed Heather Massari just ahead and stayed right near her all the way through the gate and across the dirt, almost to the first time up Rayburn hill. Going up the hill I noticed that Adam and Mark and I were already right in the same area. Coming off the hill and into the basin, Mark went ahead followed by Adam and Tom Grady, then me. We battle back and forth a bit. I got ahead of Mark and Adam, they passed back… By the time we go to the end of the first mile, preparing for the 2nd ascent of Rayburn hill, the four of us were still all right together. Mark, Tom, Me then Adam. …
Adam got by me going up the hill but I surged down the backside and repassed him. Tom was still not too far ahead. Somewhere in here Joe went by, confirming my suspicions..
On the second loop I noticed that Adam was starting to fall back. My watch was set to show me cadence and I concentrated on keeping a quick turnover – 180 or better. I chased Tom into the ditch crossing and up the other side. I found a surge and went by him. On the south end hill loop I could still see Mark and Joe ahead and I noted that Tom was dropping back a bit.
The rest of the run I focused on quick turnover. I developed more and more of a lead but gave up on trying to catch Joe or Mark….. until cresting the very last hill. Suddenly Joe was only maybe 10s ahead of me. We got into the final quarter mile straight away and I tried my best to sprint. I was definitely gaining, but I could not catch him….
I crossed the finish in 23:41…. after last week’s 24:19, I was very happy! I thought it might be the fastest I had done for this course and Strava confirmed it! Woo Hoo!
I followed up with a cool down – 20 minute run at home in the pool…..