After racing Saturday morning race, I really wanted to hit the Apple festival in Lincolnton, NC. Called my Dad and he didn't want to go. There was too much walking involved. Called my daughters and they didn't want to go either. They had been to Scarowinds until late and were sleeping late. They were still in bed and it was after 11 AM on a Saturday morning.
So with no one willing to hit the Apple Festival, I shifted gears and decided that I would just go racing again. Tired, sore, a strained hamstring would not deter me from doing something other than setting at home all afternoon.
Shortly after 2pm I headed over the Concord way to the location of the Belk's Brigade 5k.
The Belk's Brigade 5k is in honor of Christopher Belk who passed away in 2008. The race is put on by his parents and the proceeds go toward the local school and bible club. To honor someone memory - definitely this is a worthwhile cause if there ever was one.
Megan rolled in a few minutes after I did. Shortly after we had registered, Mike rolled in along with his parents and daughter. I think Mike conned his parents into coming so he wouldn't have to push the baby jogger. At least, this was my suspensions any way.
With bibs numbers and chips assigned, Lee Timing was the official timer of the event, the three of us headed out for a little course recon.
The course has 3 turns on it. The first mile is in the middle of a nasty hill that starts out steep and then transitions into a continuous climb. All totaled it was about a mile of climbing. The course then makes a 2nd turn and goes either flat or slightly downhill for the next mile. The third mile has a sharp downhill followed by a long climb up to the finish.
This course was way more difficult than my morning race. Things were not helped by the wind which blew into our faces both on the flats and the last climb heading up to the finish.
As we were pulling back in to the parking lot from our warm up, but who do we see. No, it wasn't Santa Clause, but close. Stan has made the trip over. Running a 10k race in the morning was not enough for him. With Jinnie working late at TrySports, Stan was out and about town.
A little side note here. Stan was practically a celebrity at the race or maybe I should call it Stan's family reunion. My count is probably off a little but I think at least half the field was related to him. Stan, correct me if I am wrong. It sure seemed like it.
Okay, back to the recap.
The race was to start at 5pm but was delayed because EMTs were needed for an emergency at the football field.
Stan, Mike, Megan, and I kept doing striders in a nearby field. Each of us was trying to keep our legs warm because the wind was whipping through the start area.
While we were waiting, this young kid was also doing striders near us. Mike kept eyeing uneasily. Not sure if Mike had a worried look on this face or not. But not one to be too shy, I introduced myself. Quentin was a student at the school and was on the cross country team. I also found out that he had been at XC practice that morning. It is always good to pick up as much tactical information as possible.
The race wasn't delayed too long but long enough. With the 10 miles from the morning, warm up and striders, I was starting this 5k with about 15 miles and one very sore hamstring in my legs. David gave us a countdown and we were off. We left the school parking lot and Quentin fell in behind Mike and I was a close 4th.
The downhill section before the big hill was enough to get me into 2nd place. As we climbed the hill, Mike was looking over his shoulder at me. There were too many miles in my legs for me to make any type of serious challenge to him, but I at least tried to make him think about it. And for whatever reason Mike was running the wide side of every turn. I was down on the yellow line running the tangents and would have been across it if I thought it was okay. But to no avail, Mike was increasing his lead with every stride.
I hit the 2nd turn and peek out of the corner of my eye. I could whip the sweat from my brow now. There wasn't anyone in sight. I headed down the long stretch to the 3rd turn. Again, I peeked out of the corner of my eye. I don't see Quentin or Stan, but I do see Megan. She was looking strong and had definitely closed some space between us.
I guess I am showing my age here because I learned a new term that day- "chicked" and what it meant. For those of you like me, here's what it means. When a woman passes a man in a race – the man's been "chicked". For the record, I have been "chicked" more than a few times. In all honesty, I am not ashamed of it. If she is faster, so be it. I don't mind chasing "fast" women. Although, my dad did warn me about chasing fast women. Not sure if this exactly what he meant when he said it however.
Anyway, if Megan was going to catch me, I was going to make her work for it. My hamstring was practically screaming at me to stop. I told it that I would but not until I reached the finish line.
No looking back going up the hill. I didn't want to give her any more encouragement. I was pretty sure that she saw me looking back at the 3rd turn.
Mike picked up the win. I finished 2nd overall in the race. Megan was 20 seconds behind me in 3rd.
Another 2 miles warm down, Megan and I were pushing 20 miles for the day. Mike pulled down 10 miles for the day and appears to have recovered quite well from the Blue Ridge Relay.
Looking back across the entire day, we had solid intense efforts, a double workout for the day, and covered 20 miles of running.
Megan is starting to shake off some of rust that builds up from not racing. Racing efforts and training efforts in my opinion are treated differently by the mind and the level of effort exerted i.e the tolerance of pain is higher for a race. Up to this point, I think she has been well under the red line of effort in these races. When she does open it up, I suspect I am going to get "chicked". LOL.
Thought from the Cool Down Runner.