20 March 2010


This was supposed to be a training run, especially considering that my right knee was still hurting from the Delano race and my left calf also kept acting up. Not sure if the calf issue was related to the new insoles to support my high arches, but I opted to run with my usual racing shoes without the insoles. I had never run this race before and I expected it to be rather flat. I wanted to take it easy early to see how I felt. However, after a very brief and slow warm-up prior to the start, the knee was still bothering me. So I decided to go for that PR right off the bat. If the knee was going to hurt too bad, I was going to take the foot off the gas and jog it back in. As it turned out, neither the knee nor the calf created a problem during the race. All that fuzz and nervousness for nothing.
There were about 180 runners lined up at the starting line near an old brick church in Mooresville, Alabama. The first thing I noticed was our local speedsters, David Riddle and Josh Whitehead, who were both toeing the starting line. This should make for a very fast race. As it turned out, it did and with a photo finish, David overtaking Josh with 50 meters to go to the finish and winning by one second. At least that's how I was told. I was nowhere near them after the first turn just a few hundred yards into the race. However, I had a pretty good day myself. Again, I managed to get my heart rate up very high, very early. I'm not sure that's a good thing. Anyway, no one wil ever say I don't always push myself to the limit. I actually maxed out at 192 close to the finish line. The first mile was really fast for me, as usual. I get swept up in the moment and always think I can hang with that leader pack, if only for a brief moment. Shortly after that first half mile, I dropped my pace to a more reasonable level and I was able to pretty much sustain that pace for most of the race. I had a couple of slow moments which cost me a couple of spots, being overtaken by guys that had been hanging behind me for a couple of miles but I didn't care. My goal was to try to hold on to that early pace and I almost managed, missing my target goal of sub 7 minute per mile pace by only 3 seconds. Mile 6, 9 and 10 were the toughest for some reason. More than anything, I struggled mentally for a moment. This race takes place mostly on long country roads with not a lot of activity around you. As a result, you were able to see over a mile ahead. As a result, I noticed runners way way ahead of me which somehow seemed depressing. I knew I was running my own race but it still sucks sometimes to actually be able to visualize the distance you still have to cover in a race and this race course did allow runners to do just that. I prefer winding roads with short horizons. However, this rather flat course did allow me to get another PR. That's always a good day. I shaved over four minutes off the finish time from my last 10 miler in Birmingham last month. I just love doig races as training runs. I will be back next year, hopefully chasing another PR.

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