The alarm went off as promised at 5:00am on the 4th of July, but I had already been awake for about an hour. The Walrus and I both got ready for the hour drive down to Canton, grabbed some breakfast and were out the door by 6:00am for the 5-miler at 8:30am.
Now my legs had been very slow in the last 2-weeks and after my poor poor display of what I call running at the Most Excellent 10K on 6/24 I decided I would just go out and run an easy 5-miler today and enjoy the spectators and the scenery. I did not want my hip flexors to tighten on me and spend 45 minutes suffering, nor did I want my GI system knotting up on me as it had been doing lately.
I did a short warm-up with DaisyDuc and MT. We chatted about past runs in the last 2 weeks and wished each other luck. The race was chipped but only at the end so we got really close to the starting line as not to lose time trying to get to the start. The canon, yes the canon went off and scared the sh*t out of me. I hit my watch and took off. I got passed by quite a few people the first 2 minutes, but I did not care I was feeling great. I felt relaxed and my form was decent today. I hit the first mile and thought I might be going a bit fast, but I still felt great so I continued on. I got to the second mile still feeling good. There were some hills on this course as I was learning, but they were not very big. However, there were many turns. I started passing people as I started out on my 3rd mile even though I knew I was running slower than the first mile. Still felt okay. I had decided to take in water at every available stop and see if that would help. It did my stomach did not really start until about mile 3 and it was very manageable. I hit the mile 4 and was very pleased that I was not in distress and really enjoying my run. I kept trying to remember the name of the last street, because I knew there was a little uphill and then a dead out sprint to the finish (total distance about 300 meters). I finally saw the truck at the top of the hill and cut my stride length and pushed up the hill. I had told the Walrus I was going to enjoy the race today and I figured he would not come back for me as he usually did, but at the top of the hill...there he was. He looked spent, but he fell in beside me and pushed me forward to the finish. I picked up the pace and easily began passing people, so I picked it up even more and yet again passed more people. The finish line seemed farther than I thought, but I did not want to give up until I had crossed that mat, so I closed my eyes and continued on. Finally, I crossed that finish line : 42:37 (4 seconds off my PR!!) I was very happy with my time even though I wasn't nearly fast enough to win an AG award.
The post race food was Subway and bananas. The awards were very quick. MT won her AG and DaisyDuc who courageously rode her motorcycle to the race took 2nd in her AG. The Walrus who went out at a blistering pace for about 2 miles payed for it for the next 3, but pushed aside the pain and pulled off a 30:15 and 4th place out of 52 in his AG. We said good-bye to our friends and jumped into the car excited to go home shower and drink a few cold ones while celebrating the 4th with the family for the day.