I’m here to complete, not compete…

It’s been a crazy few days, and the hot week we had in Phoenix hasn’t helped at all. Seriously, it’s November and we’re still seeing 90°+ days? I was ready for summer to be over in September, but it’s still beating us down.

But enough bitching about the weather.

I did my week three short runs this week on Monday evening and Wednesday morning. Both were four miles and uneventful. Just the usual run out to the park, around the lake and back home. I was supposed to do a seven mile long run on Friday. I woke up too late to do it before work, so I figured I’d do it in the late evening. I ate too much for dinner, though, and even though I waited 2-1/2 hours before my run, I got sick about 2.5 miles into it and called for a ride home. The upside to that run was that I found $30 in cash on the ground.

I thought about making another attempt at the seven miler on Saturday, but my knee was feeling sore and I had the Phoenix 10K the next day, so I decided it would be more prudent to take the day off. This puts me behind on the training schedule, but I think I can make it up; I’m supposed to be doing ten mile long runs by December. Once I reach that point, I think I’m within striking distance of the half-marathon goal.

The shoes that I won finally showed up on Friday. Nike Air Pegasus+. They’re pretty cool shoes, and I’ll probably try them out in about 100-200 miles. I over-pronate, though, which means that I need stability shoes, and the Pegasus (Pegasi?) are just cushioning shoes for normal pronators. I’ve been working on my stride, though, and they may work out. We’ll see.

The grand total of stuff I’ve gotten from running. Not exactly breaking even, yet.
As I foreshadowed earlier, Sunday was the Phoenix 10K.  The event was well organized and publicized. There were approximately two thousand  participants in the 10K event and the coordinators had set up pacing teams for various speeds all the way up to 10:00/mile. I decided to start just behind the 10:00 pace team based on my earlier experiences. They sounded the horn promptly at 8:00 am, and about a minute later I crossed the starting line.
I have a new pet peeve: walkers who start at the front of the pack after being told repeatedly to start in the back. There must have been a dozen announcements before the 10K. Even so, I was dodging walkers before I crossed the starting line, and pretty much continuously for the first couple miles. Some of them were even walking three or four abreast, completely oblivious to the runners. It was like I was the one chasing the zombies. I wanted to hit every one of them with a dipstick. Fortunately, both events took place on wide streets, so it wasn’t hard to get around them. It was just frustrating, though, that so few of the walkers bothered to follow the rules.
At around 2.25 miles, some motor officers started pushing all the runners to the right side of the road. I was kind of annoyed at first, but then I saw the elites go by, making sub-five minute miles look easy. As I had expected, they lapped me. It was awesome to see them fly by us, though. Everyone around me was clapping and cheering for them, and we all even sped up a bit. Running is one of the few sports where professionals and hobbyists share the same field, and to quote Jerry Myers in Spirit of the Marathon, it’s like running in the footsteps of giants.
I finished the first five kilometers somewhere around 28:30 (the timing company doesn’t provide a 5k split time even though we crossed the timing mats), but somewhere around 2.5 miles, the inside of my left knee started hurting. The second five kilometers turned into a run/walk with a sprint at the end, but somehow I managed to complete the event with a chip time of 1:03:31, which put me at an overall pace of 10:14. I finished 1330/1988 overall, and 94/113 for my division. It felt completely awesome to finish. I turned in my chip, limped over to the clothing check, and managed to get the camera out just in time to get a few shots of the beginning of the 5K.
The 5K gets underway. 

I took a few minutes to ice my knee in the shade and savor the sanctification of finishing. It wasn’t my best performance, and I was frustrated with the knee forcing me to walk for about a fourth of the distance, but I still finished, and finished ahead of almost 660 other runners. On the off chance that any of the hundreds of people that worked to make this event a success are reading my blog, I want to wish you a hearty thanks.

Now I need to get caught up with my half-marathon training. This week is 4/5/7, and I absolutely have to get that seven miler done on Friday morning due to weekend plans. I’m planning to do a slow four mile jog this evening to work out the kink in my knee; hopefully some even ground will help.

Last of all, I’m getting frustrated with the limited featureset on blogspot and I’m thinking of moving my blog over to WordPress.

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