Sometimes you just gotta race. The timing may not be perfect. Your fitness may not be nearly where you want it to be. You might be a little banged up from training hard. But you can ALWAYS learn from a race, and it’s usually pretty fun in the process.
The racing schedule this fall is centered around a late fall marathon, probably Cal International in Sacramento. Earlier this week I decided to run the Rogue Run ½ marathon. My primary purpose for racing was to get a gauge on my fitness, to see where I was and what I needed to do to have a successful fall season, and ultimately to have success at the Cal International Marathon. The field looked competitive and I was excited to get a ½ marathon in, as I haven’t run a ½ marathon since about the 7th grade.
Weather was perfect, course was awesome, volunteers and event organizers knew what they were doing. It was a very well put together event. Craig Leon, Diego Mercado, and I started out at 5:00 pace for the first couple miles before ratcheting it down to 4:55 through mile 6. At this point Craig pulled away a bit and I continued on at about 5 flat pace. With about a mile to go I realized that 1:05 was the Olympic Trials Marathon qualifying time, and I had just about enough time to get the standard! Coach Loftus of Crater HS yelled at me from the sideline, “20 seconds is worth $500!!!”(difference in prize money between 1st and 2nd) I put in a surge to catch Craig but by that time he wasn’t coming back, I still thought I could dip under 1:05. Coming down the final stretch was pretty exciting. Rain started to fall, volunteers were cheering, I looked at my watch. 1:05:10. Less than a second a mile too slow…
At some point you just have to be happy with a performance. The runner who is always bummed is a bummer. In the words of renowned mountaineer Scott Fisher, “‘If you’re bumming out, you’re not gonna get to the top, so as long as we’re up here we might as well make a point of groovin.” Runners get caught up in chasing never ending goals. Once one time is achieved, a new goal is set, worked for and eventually achieved. Running is a lot of work, doesn’t matter if you’re running 12 minute pace for a 5k or 5 minute pace for a marathon. Running is hard work, and while you’re workin you might as well be groovin.
Congrats to all finishers! Thanks for the great support of organizers and volunteers!