I've only run this race once before. The other time was two years ago as I was just coming off of a knee injury. But even with the injury, I was in much better shape and had been training much harder for much longer. As a result, I took the race pretty seriously and was pretty nervous as we lined up for the start.
This year I had absolutely no expectations at the start, and as a result I felt remarkably relaxed. I guess the lesson is that the secret to inner peace is to lower your expectations. It's hard to be disappointed when you set the bar low enough.
Anyway, the start was terrible as usual. Too many people and not enough road. Things thinned out early enough, though, and I ran into RAD as we ran along Foothill.
I tried really hard to settle into a sustainable pace, and I think I did a good job. I never felt like I was going so hard that I was going to explode, and my pace was relatively consistent throughout the race. But after about two miles my lower leg was killing me. I think it has something to do with not running much at all and then going out and hammering sub-6 miles down steep paved roads. By the end the pain was so bad that it was definitely slowing me down.
Despite the challenges, I finished just over 38 minutes, which I consider respectable, considering my training over the past year or two.
We hung around for a while and met several FRBers and saw Fritz win the marathon. We also ran into one of my old cycling teammates, Dave Clinger, who apparently is a runner now. (Google him sometime--he's one of the more interesting people I've ever met.) I hadn't seen him for about three years, so it was good to catch up briefly, and I was very glad to see that he seems to be doing well.
Anyway, the race wasn't really a triumph, but it was a fun experience, and we'll probably be back again in a year.
EXCHANGE OF THE DAY
Race announcer: "Those are some interesting shoes. What are you running in?"