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Sunday, April 10, 2005

The BIG Race

Apologies to my few loyal readers. I have started several postings recently, but have not completed any. Some posts are definitely better off NOT published, but I have been remiss. Many fine ideas have either not been completed or just allowed to fade from memory. A little more discipline is in order. I can't write about everything on my mind, but I can at least compete a few posts, this one for starters.

OK, this is about Richmond. Today was one of the biggest participatory events of the year, the Ukrops 10K. It's amazing how this event has blossomed. Richmonders turned out in droves for this, over 16,000 runners and walkers, me included. I had great hopes this year, which I had to set aside. In my ambition to train for this, I overtrained and strained my knees. Rather than letting them fully recuperate, I tried to work through it, unsuccessfully. The result was that I hadn't done any serious running for the last 3 weeks. I was close to skipping the whole thing, but I didn't. I decided if nothing else I would just walk the course and that was my plan. Well, my pride wouldn't let me just walk. While I was in no shape to run, I started out at a slow jog, carefully avoiding jarring steps. After the first mile, I felt pretty good, mile two was tougher, but brought the reward of water and PowerAide. At mile three the mild hills were taking their toll and by mile four, my legs had no spring left. I was keeping a pretty good pace, but I was done running. I made a few more stabs at it, then decided to walk to the finish. I did make a brief show for the cameras when I passed the race photographer, but that was it till the last tenth of a mile which I finished strongly. My time was 1 hour, 27 minutes or about 14 minutes a mile. Hooray for me. I feel great about my effort. My original goal was to finish in less than an hour. There's another race coming up in May. If I can build on today's effort that still may be possible, if my knees will cooperate.


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