Jessica and I ran The Maze Trail 10K on Sunday. I told Jessica not to sign me up but she did it anyway. Ah well, we got to do something together without the kids which was nice, the race was a tough mental test, the course a pleasant change of scenery from the roads, and the event an overall snappy good time, so I’m glad I ran.
I won this race last year but as soon as we arrived I saw Gate Davis and said, “if he’s running the 10k he’s going to win.” Sure enough I toe up next to him at the starting line and told him, “you’re going to win. Congratulations.” He was very modest. Then he destroyed me. He ran 37-something and I placed second in 41 and change.
I was heavy-legged and body-tired from 13 miles the previous day, tough 800s on Thursday and Wilke on Tuesday, so my goal was to just give a good effort. I wanted to keep Gate in sight as long as possible, which turned out to be about five minutes. At six minutes my shoelace came untied so I spent the final 35 minutes running solo and battling the mental demons tempting me to stop and tie my shoe. The inner dialogue urged me to just let the guy in third catch me, and if he did, to not put up a fight. He was only about 10 seconds back much of the way and it felt like he kept making up ground, but then we would hit a dirt straightaway and I would pick up the pace. Finally when we had about a mile to go I knew it was mostly flat dirt trail so I turned it up a notch and fairly flew home.
Like I said, it was a tough race for me, and the most beneficial part of it was dealing with the mental obstacles and pushing through. I also thought the course was a little more difficult than last year as they reversed the course and there seemed to be more rocky climbs, though it wasn’t as wet and muddy as last year. The event is fun because it is laid back, held in a park, and the post-race gathering is more than genial.
Chuy’s 5K this Saturday and I’m at a loss as to expectations. As of last week I had definite goals, but since the trail race I’ve been lethargic about my running, largely due to the chaos of putting our house up for sale this week, but also perhaps a symptom of a little localized burn-out or the backside of a peak? Coupled with the expected high temps and humidity, I’ve tabled any undue expectations. I think, though, it will be nice to race in a big, hopefully fast, field.
Recently seen, but unrelated: Do Compression Socks Work?