I wasn't sure if I was going to make it until the last minute, but I'm glad I did.
This morning was the Safe and Sober 5K in Carson City, benefiting Carson High's senior grad night. I knew a few of the people from my Odyssey team were going to be there, so I wanted to show up and see everyone. In fact, one of the race organizers was Steve Lang, who was the captain of my team last year. He's also working on a really cool race for 2012, the Cirque du Carson. Check that out, ultrarunners...
It was a chilly morning up in Reno, and a little colder even in Carson. Fortunately the sun was out, and the tree-lined neighborhoods of old Carson City kept the winds down. We started out just behind the Firkin and Fox, one of the sponsors of the race.
Steve gave a pretty good race briefing - if you know the streets around Carson City. I got a little confused by the "left on King, right on Ormsby" directions and figured I'd just follow one of the fast-looking guys I saw around. As we lined up, though, none of those guys shaded toward the front. After some humorous false starts with a malfunctioning air horn, Steve just yelled "Go!" and we were off. And within about 200 yards, I found myself leading.
Totally new experience. I actually had to stifle a giggle a couple times - before I started getting nervous about missing a turn. The first one was obvious, with people stationed to point the way. Then there was a long stretch, where I kept questioning whether I had missed the chalk marks. But there were people at turn two as well, and the course was actually really well marked. The only hard part was crossing the streets to make some turns - they weren't terrible busy, but you definitely had to keep an ear open for traffic.
The other thing my ear was open to was someone coming up behind me. From about mile 1.5, I could hear someone coming, and he steadily gained until he passed me just before mile 2.5. I stayed with him for a little while, but he just had a better pace going than I did, and I sure didn't have enough to catch him back.
Despite getting passed, I'm pretty happy with my run. Negative splits - 6:21, 6:16 and 6:13 miles. I finished in 18:50, 9 seconds after the leader. My best finish ever (that wasn't a relay with Chris.) And a great morning for a run, and a chance to see some of the other Carson City runners. Here's the finish line, with a beautiful blossoming tree behind it and the even lovelier Abbey sweeping through it. ;)
Now back home, having had some lunch and run a coupe errands, I'm enjoying a post-race beer and watching the Masters. Yep, golf is the one sport where I'll park it on the couch for an afternoon and watch TV. I only nod off once in a while.
(Bought this beer at a 7-11 in Sparks, NV, believe it or not. Pretty nice beer for The Sev.)