Today was one of those days where everything seemed to click. The weather was ideal — somewhere between 45 and 50 with not too much wind. I didn’t see too many faces I knew at the starting line, but then my Team Run Zone teammate, Pellegrino, showed up a few minutes before the gun went off, so I knew that it would be a good race. He ended up being the top master at 16:12 — the man is a beast! He’s had a really great fall after being injured earlier this year. The overall winner was a college kid who runs for Northern Arizona who ran 15:19. He was supposed to be racing at the Cowboy Jamboree today, but he had to be in Cleveland for a funeral — guess he had time for a race! Anyway, I ran a 4 second masters PR and finished third OA, second master with a time of 16:54.
Normally the course at Lakewood Park is a straight out and back on Lake Avenue, but they changed the course quite a bit for this race. The first half of the race wound through a lot of neighborhood side streets, so there was a lot of twisting and turning. The last half, however, was all straight and I really got rolling there. After passing the usual suspects who start too fast, I was pretty much alone by the half mile mark trying to focus on Pellegrino who was ahead of me. No one else finished that close to me, so I’m really happy that I managed to stay focused and pushed hard. I think doing those Daniels workouts the past five weeks has really toughened me up. Hopefully, I can get down to 16:45ish by the end of the year. Next week I’ll be doing the masters XC race in North Carolina ,but I’ll try to find another fast 5K road race or two before 2008 comes to a close.
On a dumb side note, I messed up my shoulder really bad after the race. I ran a cool down with a group of guys and one of them tripped on a big crack in the sidewalk and he fell pretty hard and I fell over him and landed hard on my right shoulder. I was able to shake it off ok, but when I got home my arm/shoulder popped out of socket in the shower, but then popped right in again after about 30 seconds. It happened again about 10 minutes later when I put on a shirt. Since then it’s been getting better, but still pretty sore and stiff. I can mimic a running motion ok, so hopefully with taking today off running I can get back into it in a day or two. Not the best thing to happen a week before nationals but you’ve got to roll with the good and the bad or as an old friend used to say, you’ve got to ride the waves of life like the silver surfer.