I say tough it out sarcastically, but it actually wasn't easy - the temperature was in the high teens at the start, which made it tough to get going. Dave and Chris went out for a warmup lap, but Amber and I wimped out and sat in the warm-ish car until a few minutes before race start. Personally, I wasn't sure if I was going to make three miles anyway - my last run was a week before, and I had cut it short to 2 1/2 miles anyway. Counting on race adrenaline to get me through this morning.
I couldn't talk Dave and Amber into creeping farther forward in the start gates, so the first bit took some fancy footwork to run around people. Soon settled into a good pace, though - in fact, I'm kind of astonished at the consistency of my splits. 7:45, 7:33 and 7:34 pace for each lap - and the first one had a slow start, as I mentioned.
The course was actually kind of fun, looping through the southeast section of the Summit Sierra parking lot. Uphill out to Mt. Rose Highway, downhill back into the parking lot, and a little uphill at the end and on through to the next lap. If anything, the course was a bit twisty - all those 90 degree turns made running the tangents pretty important. One little kid that I was running near was ignoring the cones and running his own tangents across grass and gravel landscaping. Had to pass him just on principle.
There was a guy dressed as a Santa that I was following for most of the race - through the first and second laps, he was about the same distance in front of me. I started reeling him in at the start of the third lap, and was right behind him with about a third of a mile left - at which point he put on a burst of speed and took off. Didn't realize Santa was sandbagging...
As far as an injury report: my shoulder felt pretty OK with the running - I certainly wasn't pumping my arms hard or anything, but the jostling didn't bother it too much. My left ankle, though - the one that's been the problem - started hurting at about the half mile mark. By the last lap I was able to tune it out, but it hurt the whole time. And now that I'm home, it's getting worse - there's some serious hobbling going on right now. (Well, not RIGHT now - I'm currently set up on the couch with two ice packs, a laptop and some beer).
I slid though the chute and circled around for some finish pics - had to snap a pic of another Santa, and then Amber came through - not sure why she's sticking her tongue out. :) Dave finished in a mess of people, and I couldn't get a shot of him.
TLD reconvened for a group picture:
And then hit the nearby Starbucks for some post-race caffeine and nutrition:
Back to the race start area, and hanging around waiting for the raffle. We thought it was wasted time, but on the LAST number called, Amber won a pair of shoes. She was, um, kind of happy:
Dave and Chris took off, and I went back to RRC to help her pick out a pair of shoes. With the help of store manager Ryan Evans, she ended up with some great Pearl Izumi triathlon shoes. Hopefully she can improve her T2 times next year with these... ;)
Despite my painful run, it was a pretty good morning. Great to see all of TLD together, and hopefully all healing up. Despite the cold temps, had a nice warm feeling this morning.
Results have been posted...