There's nothing like a race to help you experience the mind games that creep in when you push yourself physically. I wanted to see if the work I've been putting in has been helping me as much I hoped. A four mile race gets you to an anaerobic state pretty quickly.
I saw Alan Mills, a successful age-grouper, at the start line and decided to use him to help gauge my effort. The start went out quickly and I wasn't very far back from leaders, Chris Jensen and Cody Manchester. I dropped in behind Alan and after the first half-mile thought the pace was manageable so took off on my own. By the 1st mile, other runners (that I no business running ahead of) began to pass and I eventually fell into line where I belonged.
My goal today, based on the past and tweaked by recent training runs, was to hit somewhere between 28 and 30 minutes. Mile one was 6:31 so I knew I was too fast or off on my pre-race assessment. Mile two was 7:10 so the adjustment was taking effect. Mile 3 went by at 7:32 and this was where the mind was trying to convince me of backing down, saving myself for a longer run tomorrow, not hurting myself on pavement, etc. But then I realized that I needed to suck it up and just finish this damn thing so went through the final mile in 7:02...ahead of Alan but I had forgotten that local friend, Rick Kammerer, is also in his 50's and he ran ahead me at 27:23 to my 28:16. So I was 2nd in the 50 -59 group but also the consolation of being the oldest 50-year-old as I turn 60 in a month and a half.
Race results are posted here with both individual and father/mother/son/daughter teams.
There was a good turn out and early morning thunderstorms cleared out in time to get the race in and have the Band Festival Parade. Watching the parade, my wife and I were able to visit with the Ventura band festival queen from 1942 who was sitting next to us.
I was pleased to reach my goal time and to get some needed race experience. It's been a while since I've allowed myself to go into race mode.
6 miles around the race..2 more hiking to the parade...another recovery hike tonight.