The open half of my second double in two weeks was the Trisport Dave Yurgaitis 10K Memorial race. This race has been on my calendar for two years now because it was voted onto the USATF-CT calendar- including by me.
It's the sort of race that doesn't fit into my schedule. It's the day before a race I really want to run well every year- the Durham 10k. It's a haul from my house for 8AM. My own teammates don't like the location or timing of the race, and as a bonus, they kind of avoid it.
However, at the same time, it's a good race. The location may be unenviable for my team, but other teams are closer. There are some great runners that do run the race. The course is fair, and the advantage of the early start is an early finish. It also gives me a few more hours to recover for the next race, which is the next day. So the fact that I am going to get spanked and do not have to consult the results before leaving, that I'm missing a chance to do a long ride, none of it really matters.
I warmed up alone, getting a nice two mile run in which included the big hill on the course, which is at about a third of a mile and is, well, a significant hill.
I talked to George Buchanan for a while, found out he'd been doing trail races, did some strides, and then Wil Graustein got us started.
It was an older crowd- a lot of masters runners. So the start wasn't crazy. I tried to hang with George Buchanan. I was somewhere in the top 10 as we went up that first big hill. The EKG guys, including Jess Efrom, were behind me for some reason. I found out later they had been in Boston at a track meet, got home at midnight, drove up to Compounce at 5:30 AM and then found out their fifth guy had blew them off.
I was running pretty well, not blowing it up, but hanging in as best I can when I'm surrounded by people faster than me. Then after the first turn I heard this unmistakable cadence. Kind of a pitter-patter. Jim Zoldy. I said 'I'd know that cadence anywhere,' and he replied 'I don't want to talk right now'- he'd read my duathlon post. He went by, and headed on up to where George was. I ended up in a tangle of Hartford Track and Mohegan runners. That sorted itself out to the point that there were three of us running together. We took the cone at the turn-around and started back. I was still hanging in with the two of them. The EKG guys had long since passed us and were kind of toying with the course, running as a group, so I was back in 15th-16th place.
The course doesn't offer any big hills until after 5 miles, and I didn't want to try and attack stronger runners on the false flats we were running on. They eventually started pulling away and at four and a half miles I took a Cliff Shot and kept a steady pace.
As I passed 5 miles and climbed the big hill coming back, I heard someone closing on me, but I couldn't tell if it was a bike or a runner as I was hearing both sounds. I didn't look back.
As we crested the hill the baby stroller went by me, being pushed by Gregory McKirryher. He went by and thought, OK, probably a 5K runner putting on a big push or something. WRONG ! He beat me by eight seconds.
I should be really pissed a guy pushing a stroller beat me. But I'm not. He ran a better race, and to be honest, I ran a good race. Two seconds slower than last year, but I was coming off a much harder previous weekend of training- and I didn't skimp on the Saturday ride and run either- a two and a half hour brick. I was 17th overall and 7th in my age group, but I ran a good solid race. I didn't go ballistic early or blow-up late.
Better yet I was read for the Durham 10K the next day.
The truth is, after the 18:23 in Rochester the week before, I was prepared to have trouble breaking 38 minutes, and instead I'd run right around the same as last year. I was encourage that the larger running volume the last two weeks was paying off and that the speed, what little I have, might be in there someone...
Next: The Durham 10K