October 25, 2015
So, over the past two months, I’ve been running and racing more consistently and even showing up to the Wednesday Night Run at the Forward Motion store on a regular basis.
I’ve been racing every other weekend and Lafayette Reservoir Run is the 4th time I’m racing in 7 weekends. I’ve been feeling like my fitness is coming along nicely and I’m excited about this event. I’d raced this course about 7 years ago and I’m curious to see how I do comparatively. At the start of the event, I recognize a guy who beat me at Walnut run for the AG win relegating me to 2nd. I later find out this is John Hill. I’m confident that I will beat him this time around since Walnut Run was my first race in a while and my fitness was considerably less than it is now. I know this because I’d knocked 43 seconds off my 5K time in 4 weeks. The race starts and John and two others are pulling away from me. I’m in 4th, also pulling away from the field. About one mile into the race I can see that the top 3 runners are starting to get some separation. I’m hoping that John Hill (now in 2nd place) tried to keep up with a stronger runner and exerted too much energy too soon.
At the 2-mile mark we start the climb into the reservoir. 1st and 2nd place runners are considerably ahead of me now but 3rd place is only about 15 seconds up. I think hills are my strength so I’m hoping I can reel him in by the time we exit the park. Over the next 2.25 miles I don’t seem to make up any ground. Then, finally as we are doing the descent out of the park, I mark where he is at on the road and time myself to get to that point. I’m only 5 seconds back!! Yes!! Just at this point, I notice that my right shoe is feeling a little loose. Shoot!! My shoelace is coming undone and I still have 1.5 miles to the finish. I continue running hoping I can make it. About 1/3 mile later, the shoelace is completely undone. I know if I don’t stop now, I risk the shoe coming off at some time and that would take a lot more time to fix than simply retying the shoe now. I give a glance behind me and see that there is a younger guy not too far back. I stop, reach down and quickly tie it and I’m off again. I look back and see he is about 3 to 4 seconds back now. I’m only 1 mile from the finish and I really don’t want to lose a place so I push as hard as I can. I end up finishing 12 seconds ahead of him and securing 4th place. Once again, I finish 2nd in the AG behind John Hill. I talk to him after the race and he explains to me that Walnut Run was also a return to fitness for him. John is a very strong runner and I know I have my work cut out if I’m going to challenge him over the next year.
In addition to running hills on Wednesday night with FOMO and track workouts on Monday nights at Las Lomas High School, I have also started doing the hill repeats in Lafayette on Thursday nights. All of these workouts are with people I enjoy running with and I can see my speed and strength improving every week! Please check out the Group Workouts on the ForwardMotionRaceClub.com site for times and locations. The Ambassadors and other experienced athletes host these training sessions. Not only will you be pushed to improve your running pace, you will enjoy yourself as well. Hope to see you at a group workout soon!!