Saturday, April 18, 2009

Conference Carolinas Championship: Day 2

17 min. w/u (2+ miles)
5k in ~20:05
17 min. c/d (2+ miles)
Total: 7-7.5 miles

After a restful night's sleep, we enjoyed a laid-back morning lounging around the cabin and drinking coffee before heading to the meet around noon. I was slated to run the 5k with
Jess and Holly, mostly just as a test for my foot. Jeff encouraged me to run as slow as I wanted to and even drop out if my foot began to hurt, but I was fervently hoping that wouldn't be the case. After a two-mile warmup with Holly, I was feeling cautiously optimistic. Jess, on the other hand, has been suffering from a knee injury of sorts (maybe even IT band related?) and could barely walk, so her role in the race would consist of starting, running about half a lap, and summarily dropping out. Hey, we need 14 people. Put it on the board.

At any rate, I was seeded first in the race based on my 5k time at the Armory. This is embarrassing for several reasons, namely because I planned on jogging but also because it gives you an idea of the lack of depth in our conference. I had no intentions of winning the race, but was hoping my teammate Holly would put up a strong fight. She's been hoping to break 19 minutes all season and looked poised to do so today.

Running the 5k. Note my stylish French braid,
courtesy of Chandler.

From the gun, I settled in comfortably at about a 6:30 pace. Or, I should say, it was comfortable for the first mile. After that point it became readily apparent that I hadn't run in over two weeks. Don't get me wrong; it certainly wasn't race effort, probably not even tempo effort, but it was not the jog I've come to expect 6:30 pace to feel like. Blame it on the altitude?? The good news is my foot felt fine throughout, and according to my loyal fan and spectator Tanya I wasn't limping or altering my stride. I'll take it. Meanwhile, Holly ran a super race, finishing just over 19:10 (18:55 with the altitude conversion) and securing third place. She was pumped and I was happy for her.

Spectating the afternoon races. L to R: Tanya, Jess, Sarah, Katie,
Chandler, Holly

In other notables, our men's mile relay (consisting of the same people as last time, only substituting Futsum for Eli) actually won the conference championship in 3:28. The other teams should be ashamed of themselves; considering that Futsum had finished the 5k a mere 10 minutes previously, Devin and Nelson had both already run 2 races on the day, and Mike is definitely not a sprinter. But hey, a W's a W.

Devin takes the lead in the pivotal moment of the 4x4

Back to the cabin for a night of revelry and merriment. Looks like I'm sticking around to join the team at Moses Cone in Blowing Rock for a run tomorrow assuming the foot holds up.