Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tribe Open

I went down to Williamsburg today to run the Tribe Open 8K. There were a bunch of other Team Blitz kids who were going to run in the race too. I left home at 7am for the 10:45 race. I kept the heat on my seat to warm-up my IT band as much as I could. I got into town around 8:30. I didn't know who the assistant coach was at packet pickup, but he wanted to know how if the individual kids on team blitz were each going to pay for themselves. I told him that I didn't have any money, and that Juice had never made me pay before, but that I'd tell the kids to bring their cash too. Trevor showed up and we talked to Juice a bit about Colonial Relays and then moved my car closer to the starting line.

Team Blitz showed up and we all loitered around the car. I still had chairs in my car from the football game, so it looked like Trevor and I were tailgating. We also talked to Ed about life and running career. I was very disappointed to find out that no one from the RRCA convention has contacted him about speaking at the 2011 convention in Fredericksburg. I think that he'd be much more interesting to hear from than the same tired, old acts that they usually get.

Anyway, a few minutes before 10 we started to warm-up. The kids came with us and Trevor and I did a very slow 3-miles back around the water tower loop and out to Ironbound and James Blair Middle School. One of the kids was wearing those funny barefoot running shoes...

I never took the opportunity to try on my spikes yesterday and do strides, so I wasn't sure what I was going to wear. I went with the MDs, which I hadn't worn since XC Nationals in February 2009. I still had the commemorative chip on the laces. They still fit ok, but they smelled like black death. I did some strides and participated in the team cheer. It was strange; I'm not sure if we ever did that. We were quite a motley crew. I think 3 of us had on Mizuno singlets and 7 had on Nike. I was the only person wearing real running shorts. One guy had on Under Armor boxer briefs. Two people weren't wearing shoes in the race. As in, they were running barefoot. The whole situation was very bizarre. I didn't feel like I belonged. I got behind them all on the line.

And the gun was off. I went straight to the back, behind the roughly 60 other people in the race. The course had changed to 4 loops around the main field and tear drop. We'd go up Retard 4 times, and through teardrop 2.5 times. No A-Frame, no water tower, no woods loop, no memory lane. Just weaving around between the starting line and the finish line.  I didn't like the course. It was challenging, sure, but it was also very boring. I was very bored at the beginning, going out slow and watching the field run away from me up front. I knew I didn't belong up there really, but I certainly didn't belong back where I was. I went through the mile in last place, completely relaxed. I saw a group of WM kids standing at the mark and asked them for the clock. 5:30. Faster than I thought, but still way behind everyone else. So I started to pick it up. I passed probably 30 people immediately-- mostly from Hampton-Sydney. Things were fine, I was trying to stay relaxed.

Not knowing where the next mile marker was, I just waited until I saw the same WM kids on the course with a clock and a clipboard. I asked for the time and they said 10:26. That couldn't have been right, that must have been the 3k. I thought about how crazy that was for about 20 seconds until I saw a few more guys standing there with a clipboard and clock. They said 10:56. More reasonable. That was the last split that I would get though.

I moved up through the field over the next two miles, passing lots of scrubs who looked a whole lot skinnier than I am. One kid from CNU kept trying to cut me off. He moved around in front of me and even threw an elbow at me once. So I dropped back a bit until we got to the hills in the middle of the field and I tried to pass him on the OUTSIDE! Nope, he wasn't having it. He threw an elbow at me... so I grabbed it and threw it back at him. He called me an asshole, I did the same and sprinted away from him. He tried to come back at me going up the hill and even passed me, but then on the next downhill I just tore around him and that was the end of that. I passed a bunch of other CNU guys and they weren't jerks.

I started to gain on the 2nd Team Blitz kid, who I believe is Andy 4.0. He was running barefoot and I didn't want to lose to him. We were heading into teardrop when I caught him, and I thought about how uncomfortable it must be for him to have to run on the pavement when you cross the road. I thought we had to go all the way through teardrop, but they cut it in half for the final loop. I thought I had more time to get away from him, so this surprised me and I had to start going earlier. We went back through the hill at the top of the mental hospital and I started to kick. I had another guy or two in front of me and I passed them, but I heard someone coming on me. I wasn't about to get out-kicked by a barefoot Team Blitz kid, so I took off with everything I had left. I ended up out-kicking a kid from CNU instead, but he got ahead of me in the shoot and now the results have us both listed at 17th place. Apparently the person with the clipboard wasn't smart enough to fix that. Andy 4.0 was 4 seconds back.

My time was 27:35. Not good at all. 3.0 was 31 seconds ahead at 27:04, which was a PR for him. I think he probably went out 30 seconds faster than I did in the first mile so it makes sense. We basically ran the same race, he just started out in front of me. I took off my shoes, which are now in the trash can. I was bleeding on top of my feet and on the my heels, and my blisters from Twin Cities weren't looking to good either. We went for a cool-down and I was pretty upbeat. The runners with shoes on went with us and it was a pretty good day.

The time sucked for me but what am I going to do? I didn't train for it. I know I'm not in shape. Whatever. It was just fun to get out and run a cross country race again. I wish the course hadn't changed though. This loop crap was boring and I missed the woods. I feel like there were more hills and it was slower, but I'm sure some WM kids have run crazy fast times on it and will prove me wrong.

Garmin Connect - Warm Up
Garmin Connect - Cool Down

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