First, the new shoes:
Just kidding. Too pointy. Here they are:
The sole is solid hard leather – not flexible at all. That makes for good toe protection. But the foot can move freely, so it’s like landing on a smooth hard surface even on gravel. To keep them from flying off, I have to flex the toes a bit, which you have to do barefoot but for other reasons. Toes are exposed, so they can breathe. Iris found them for me, but thinks they’re too nice to run in. I might have to be disobedient again.
OK, the race:
Time: 42:19 (PR!)
Overall Place: 4th out of 59
AG: 1st out of 6
What a pleasant surprise to show up for a race and be greeted by the Shannon and Anthony show. I was glad to have an opportunity to show ac that I don’t puke after every race. It was also nice to finally officially meet fellow former Wisconsinite, Shannon. Very cool folks. Shannon took some pics of me in compromising positions during my post-race massage (the race was essentially a birthday party for local runner and massage therapist, Joel Tull. He had a bunch of his massage buddies to work their magic after the race), and I couldn’t hang with ac at all today – he was faaaast.
The weather was wonderful. Yeah, I like it when it’s even cooler, but upper-60s felt great.
The greenway is narrow and was busy. I decided to start in the front because I knew passing would be tough. AC and I lined up next to the guy who I could tell was going to win just by looking at him. He shook our hands very seriously and said, “good luck.” That was a first – he figured since I started up front that I might be a threat to win. In my head I was like, uh, huh huh, you’re going to kick my butt.
And we’re off! I tried to keep up with the four runners who sprinted in front of me for position, but quickly realized that wasn’t my scene. I eventually caught one guy, passing him with runner #377. I’d be racing him the rest of the race.
I started in front of him, but he caught me a little before the second mile. We were side by side for a while, but he pulled ahead at the turn around point. I had to take it easier on the way back – it would be a deceptively tough slight incline with some not-so-deceptively tough inclines. I was very familiar with the route, and I usually fade really badly on the return trip. So I let runner #377 go. He was never out of sight, but I didn’t have the mojo to catch him. I figured my best chance was to focus on my posture and movement economy, and see where things stood once we got to the hill behind Herbie’s Diner, less than a mile from the finish.
Hey, that patience thing worked! I caught him going up the hill, then just let loose on the steep decline. There was a rescue-golf cart driving on the greenway, not sure why, but I knew I wanted to be in front of it. So I booked past. I remembered from my groundskeeping days that most golf carts max out at 10mph, or a 6 minute mile, so I raced it. I didn’t hear them take their foot off the gas until we got to the sidewalk to the finish.
Happy birthday, Joel! Thanks for the great race.