This is it. The final cross country season of my spartan career. I can still remember the first race here 5 season ago, where did the time go? It feels good to be back running at the start of a season after redshirting last fall and my injury stricken spring. I’m not as far into my training as I should be due to an IT band injury at the start of August, so I’m just getting back into the swing of things. Today’s race was more of a workout/tempo than an all out race.
It started like most race days, waking up just before Bruce could remind me I was Born to Run. I followed this up by bringing the bread and making the classic three pieces of peanut butter toast. We left campus at 7:15 and made the hour long trek up to Golden Gate Park for the race. The women were first with their 6k at 10:00 and we followed them with a 10:45 start time. The weather was cool and overcast, and nice weather for a race. We did the 20 minute warmup, drills, strides and headed to the start line.
When the gun when off, I had no traction and slipped on the grass. I regained my footing and got into a good position at the start and stayed towards the outside of the group to keep from getting boxed in. I stayed in the middle of the pack through the first mile and then they started to move away. Because I was treating this more as a workout and less as a race I just focused on keeping an even pace. And for the first three loops, I did just that. I didn’t try to move with any of the packs in front of me or pick anyone off, I just kept cruising. For the entire race I was averaging a 5:17 mile, so a little faster than I would have gone had I run a tempo workout instead of the race. I picked it just a little bit on the last loop and finished 6th for the Spartans in 41st with a time of 26:17.
At this race 2 years ago I ran 26:03. So for this being just a workout, I’m pleased with the overall time. It was necessary to get me into the racing mindset and to provide a good base for me to build from. Now we’ve got a solid 4 week training block until our next race in Sacramento on September 29th. See ya in a month!