I ran the SLTC Winter 5k for the 12th time I think. Racing this year really put me in a reflective mood this morning as I'm at a crossroads in my running and this race has been such a constant for me over the years. I love everything about the winter series races and I'm certain that if I ever retire from hard training and racing, I'll still do these races. I love seeing the hard core runners who stick with it year after year like Fritz, Sasha, Michelle Simonaitis, Michael Laputka, and Bill Cobler. These people remind me so much of myself not just in the way they approach the sport, but also because I sense that it means the same thing to them as it does to me. Kindred spirits I guess.
I love the starting time - 10 am. Gives me time to sleep in a little bit on a Saturday morning, have my normal coffee and breakfast, and still make it out to the Great Salt Lake without any problem. I love the drive out there as well. Heading west on I-80 brings out that roaming urge that is so strong in me that I would indulge more if I didn't have responsibilities. Usually I listen to Social Distortion's Live at the Roxy on the way out because it gets me pumped. Today I went with Ryan Bingham's Mescalito which may explain my slow time. I love the coffee, the Great Harvest bread and honey, the atmosphere at Saltair, and the conversation.
I didn't have to right to expect much out of this race with my scant mileage this month and bum knee and I was able to deliver on those low expectations. I ran 19:06 with splits of 6:14, 6:12, 5:58, 42. I felt pretty good aerobically but my legs didn't have a whole lot of pop or turnover. Not surprising. I did race fairly hard though and enjoyed the competition. A few years ago I thought that I would lose my enthusiasm for racing once my times began to slow due to age but I'm finding that isn't the case. I believe that's the bad kind of pride and I'm thrilled to find out I don't suffer from it.
The true runner is a very fortunate person. He has found something in him that is just perfect - George Sheehan
That's about it. I'll miss the 10k in a couple weeks because I'll be running the 12 hour version of Jared Campbell's Running Up For Air on Grandeur Peak that day. THAT will be a challenge!