D and I ran 5 miles together in the Commons yesterday. It was nice and easy. It was funny when she thought we were running 10:45 pace. I knew it was a wee bit slower than that but don't discourage the pregnant lady. In fact, it was slow enough that my stride felt a bit wonky. That being said, it was fun to be running with her. Then I took her out for ice cream.
Tonight was a different story. My scheduling worked out that I was able to jump into the White Mountain Milers Summer Trail Series. It's listed as a trail race, but it's more of a cross country course. Everyone was up in arms about the muddy conditions. It was squishy in a couple spots for a few yards, but certainly nothing ugly. The course itself is 5k, but it is really two courses: A completely flat 1.25 miles to start and .5 miles to finish and a big climb and gradual downhill for the rest. I scoped the hard/fun part of the course beforehand on my warm up and formulated a plan to go out comfortably fast, mash the uphill, roll on the downhill and survive the final flat.
That's pretty much exactly how it went. I was surprised at how painful the first mile was then to only see 6:50 at the mile split. It felt like I was in slow motion. When I hit the hill, I dropped the two guys I was running with in the first 30 yards, caught up to a pack and passed a couple people. I kept pushing all the way to the top and was right behind a pack of 5. Two miles in 14:12, which was very pleasing to the eyes. I love it when a plan comes together. The trail got a bit more technical on the downhill, and I was able to move ahead of all but one of that group. Once on the flat, I was moving surprisingly well, but, let's face it, I have no speed. I held together quite well, though, and actually pulled away from all those I had just passed to finish in 21:32. Not bad considering the slippery conditions. (Did I mention the 8 million slippery roots on the course? Quite slick.) All in all, it was a solid effort. I held together quite well through the finish and stayed within myself—never really hurting all that much. My only limitation was lack of leg turnover...or no turnover whatsoever. Hopefully, my schedule will work out that I can hit a couple more of these this summer.
Post-race I had a chance to catch up with Kevin, who is a really bad blogger but a really good dude...he's also quite fast busting out 16:40ish or something ridiculous tonight. However, I did learn that if our 18-year-old selves raced each other, my 18-year-old self would whoop his ass. That was my ego boost for the day...then I remembered how slow and fat I've become. Oh well.