Tales from 9 Runs: Run 6: The One That Didn't Get Away

Map of 25 Annual Firefighters Road Race in Hamilton
Road map for the race
So today's race was the 25 Annual Firefighters Road Race in Hamilton.  I did about 45:10, which was pretty decent given several factors.  I did a strong run, but not great and didn't improve by any means from my first run.  I was happy to see I came in as the 52 runner and before I left, it looked like there was at least 90 runners, so that put me close to the middle of the herd, which I'm more than happy to be.

Overall, it's been a long weekend and it's only Saturday evening.  Someone dear to me had a serious surgical procedure on Friday so that took up much of my time and attention the last few days.  I spent much of Friday hanging out at the hospital.  My mind in many ways wasn't in the race.

Lance Eaton before the 25 Annual Firefighters Road Race in Hamilton
Before the race
I had gone to be early (10pm) on Friday night, more from being wiped out from the day than actually getting read for the next day.  I set my alarm for 7am, knowing that I needed a good rest (the week as a whole didn't have as much sleep as I usually get).  7am rolled around and I rolled right over.  Initially, I decided against the race--too tired, too distracted, the weather appeared too temperamental, and too busy.  I awoke an hour later and got up to do some apartment chores (feed the cats, turn off the dehydrator, etc).  By about 8:30am, I realized I was up for good and since I had time, I might as well go to the race, because I still needed some exercise.

I got there, got my goodie bag and then proceeded to prepare.  I'm coming to hone into my own routine which is a mixture of pacing, peeing, and stretching.  The pacing helps me focus on my body, my movement, and the race ahead.  I'll pace in some pattern for upwards of one to one and a half miles.  The stretching loosens up the body parts I identify as needing attention as I pace.  The peeing; I think is a mixture of hydrating, nerves, and anxiety about being on the race and having to need to urinate (and having it mess up my time).  I'm a chronic urinator...ask anyone who hangs out with me for long periods of time.

Lance Eaton after the 25 Annual Firefighters Road Race in Hamilton
After the race
The aspects of the run were a mixed bag.  The weather itself was a bit rough.  I've gotten used to running in hot muggy weather in so much as one can.  During the race, you essentially deal with it as best as possible--afterwards thought, I am quickly drenched beyond comprehension (this has led me to bring a change bag with towel and extra t-shirt).  The route was a mixture of shady and sunny patches and I definitely felt the sunny patches.  It had a decent share of hills, which coupled with the heat, definitely took their toll.  By the last 1/2 mile, I didn't have any extra gusto to push myself further (though I also attribute this to my poor pacing:  I did 8 minutes with my first mile and quickly dropped off from there, just averaging out to 9 minute miles).  Without the heat and rough start to the day, I think I could have shaved at least a minute from the ordeal, but maybe that's just me being hopeful.

The highlight of the race were to the two barefoot runners I saw at the race.  There were no other runners with Vibram 5-Fingers, but two guys did the race entirely barefoot (and yes, they totally beat me by at least a minute or more). Mostly, it was interesting to study their bodies as they ran and think about how my body should or shouldn't be operating given the footwear.

Lance Eaton's race numbers thus far.
Growing number collection
Ultimately, I'm distracted by the way that August tends to be a busy month for my profession in a lot of ways. I've also had some personal projects that have kept me occupied.  But as I found earlier in the week (Wednesday), when I went for a short (5.4 miles) run.  A good hard run can do amazing things.  When I ran Wednesday and even today, it worked wonders on my stress and gave me time to offload the weight of the last week.

Well, the countdown begins.  Three weeks from the day this blog is posted, I will be running the 25K Around the Cape.  I think I'm on target to be prepared for it, but I don't think I will be making any personal records that day (besides finishing it--hahaha).  I'm definitely nervous about it.  I think I'll be able to do it, but I want to be able to do it in a manner that doesn't entail me feeling exhausted for the next week or potentially hurting myself accidentally.

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