This photo is one of my favorites. It’s from the 2009 Mini. This is around mile 7 or so and by the time this image was captured my race was already over because of a pulled calf. I was limping my way to the finish. It wasn’t my worst time for a half and I wound up getting a nice gear bag from Brooks for being the fastest ID member in the over 40 age group (probably the only one running that day).
So, last Saturday I was supposed to run the Owen-Putnam State Forest 50k. Well a not so funny thing happened on the way to the race. I was driving west on I-70 when all the sudden there was an object in the road. Not sure what it was, tool box, cooler, I don’t know it was dark blue and I didn’t see it until it was too late to avoid hitting it. I think it probably fell off the small pickup that was ahead of me but who knows. From the comfort of my drivers seat it didn’t seem as though it had done much damage. It was very dark and our exit was just up ahead so I decided to not stop there on the interstate to inspect. The car was still running well when we exited the interstate, so we kept going. After a few miles the check engine light came on and very soon after the engine just died. It was still very dark and almost immediately a guy in uniform on his way to weekend guard duty stopped. He had a flashlight and we could then see that the radiator had been badly damaged. I called a tow service to come rescue us. About two hours and $160 later we were back in Avon at Terry Lee Honda. There wasn’t much else I could do at that point so Tom and I headed down to Morgan Monroe State Forest and ran two laps of the Low Gap Trail. It was a beautiful day for a run in the woods. It turns out that the engine was completely fried. The repairs should be finished by Wednesday. Small ding in the front bumper and a slightly used replacement engine… just over $5000. Thank God for insurance.
That was the low, now for the high. Yesterday was the final DINO Series race for 2009. Ft Harrison is perhaps my favorite DINO course. It has hills, rough rocky ankle twisting trails, horse crap, even a creek crossing. And since it is an out and back course you get to cross the creek twice. On this course it is not a question of will you roll your ankle it’s a question of how many times will you roll it and how bad will it hurt. It hasn’t rained all week so the creek was only ankle deep this year. I went out pretty fast but felt pretty good at the turn around. I was starting to fade on the return, but passing everyone still heading out was a bit of a mental boost. The hills on the return were killing me, but I was still running well on the flats and downhills. With just over a half mile to go there is one last hill, not very big, but I was huffing and puffing by the time I reached the top. I glanced at my watch and thought I might be on record pace. There’s no point in finishing with gas left in the tank. The downhill side is smooth grass and I was flying down it. The last half mile is mostly grass and flat. You can actually see the finish area from before the last hill and through the entire last half mile. I was pushing as hard as I could. I crossed the finish line at 1:06:00, I’m certain this course isn’t quite a full 15k. Still that’s a PR for this course by almost 2 minutes. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to do that had I run the 50k the week before. I have been worried that I’ve haven’t been getting in the speed work I need to, but yesterdays race is lifting my confidence a bit. I have a 4.5 mile road race coming up on Thanksgiving Day. Then December 5th is Tecumseh where, if the conditions are right, I’ll be trying to beat 4:30. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, I think I rolled my ankle about three times.