Yesterday I ran my 12th straight Oregon Road Runner’s Club Annual Run and once again had a wonderful time. But before I get to the details of that race let me recap some training sessions leading up to it. My blog my rules you know.
On New Year’s Eve day I was on the bike in the AM for an easy spin session that was not too strenuous at all due to the upcoming race. Afterwards, I was out the door for my final little tune-up run and it was done in very cold temps and slushy footing conditions. I kept it slow and easy and carefully watched my foot placement! Stats for Thursday’s bike: 14.4-miles in 1-hour. Stats for Thursday’s run: 4-miles in 31:07 @ 7:46/m pace.
On New Year’s Day my beautiful wife and I made our way to the club to start the New Year off on the right foot. She got in a cardio workout while I got in a swim. I kept it steady and even. Stats for Friday’s swim: 2,000-yards in 40:08 (42:08 w/rest) 5x400 w/30-sec. rests.
Saturday I was again at the pool and kept the kicking to a bare minimum to save the legs as best I could. I also tossed in some intervals to spice things up just a bit. Stats for Saturday’s swim: 2,000-yards in 39:13 (40:43 w/rest) 4x500 w/30-sec. rests.
Lastly, today I was at the pool once more but this time it was back to the usual 5:00am splash down. Happy New Year indeed! The legs were a bit sore and tired so again I kept the kicking to a minimum and just glided as best I could. Stats for Monday’s swim: 2,000-yards in 42:48 (40:48 w/rests) 5x400 w/30-sec. rests.
So…as previously mentioned, the yearly ORRC 20.10K Annual Run was yesterday. This is a run that takes place on the first Sunday of the New Year every year and every year the distance increases .01K to commemorate the New Year. The first time I ran this race it was a 19.99K and this year (my 12th) it was 20.10K or 12.489-miles. My daughter and I drove out to the small burg of Forest Grove near my place and arrived about an hour before race time. That hour was spent talking to some runner friends and just people watching. With about ten minutes to the start we made our to the start line and parted ways to run our own races.
I made my way towards the front of the pack where I talked with my friend Billy Strick some more and then met Pete Danko . Pete and I have known each other virtually through our blogs and Facebook for a couple of years now but had never been able to meet face-to-face so it was great to be able to finally do so. He was running the 10K so once the gun went off we didn’t get to chat on the course at all. The conditions this year were prefect for running! Not like years past when we’ve had snow, or ice, or temperatures in the low 20’s, or gale force wind, or torrential rain, or even all the above at the same time it seemed! This year it was in the upper 40’s, overcast, and no wind. Soon enough the race started and we all took off like a shot. The first mile or so we ran through old neighborhoods out to Highway 47. Around the two mile mark is where the 10K race splits from the 20.10K race and many of the folks ahead of me turned off for the 10K. A couple of miles later the courses merge once again and that is always a bit of a pick-me-up because I get to pass runners and there is always someone up ahead to track down. But, this is also where the hills start. None of them are real long and real steep, but they are either long and gradual or short and steep and all hurt. Near the 5-mile mark the course once again splits off with the 10K runners turning around on an out-n-back while we 20K runners go straight. And once again I found myself running alone with one runner in sight up ahead and none in sight behind me. A couple of rolling miles later I saw the race leaders coming back and that is where I can count the runners to see what place I’m in to take my mind off of how much it all hurts right about then. At the final turn-around I found myself in 12th place overall and the closest person in front of me was ~1/4-mile ahead of me. At the next aid station I saw my daughter, Jennifer, headed the other direction looking great! She shouted hi and said she was under 8/m pace and I told her to keep it up and finish strong.
Near the 9-mile marker I could still see the one runner ahead of me and I figured if I was going to try to catch him then the time was now. So I sped up as much as I figured I could and still finish and slowly started to reel him in. Eventually I caught him and he hung with me for a bit but I started to hear his footfalls taper off and I picked it up just a bit more to get whatever gap I could. And the 11th position is where I stayed with no runners ahead in a catchable distance and no runners behind threatening to catch me. With a quarter mile left to go I climbed the longest and steepest hill of the day (who put THAT hill at THAT point in the race?!) and made my way to the finish. I was glad to be done and was able to finish about a minute faster than last year. I hung around the finish area talking with Billy and his family and then soon enough Jennifer came around the corner to finish her race ten whole minutes faster than last year! We made our way inside to warm-up, eat some pancakes, and then to get our Age Group winner blue ribbons. It was a great way to start 2010! Here’s my race stats12.489-miles in 1:23:07 @ 6:42/m pace. #1 of 8 in the M45-49 age group #11 of 291 overall finishers.