July 10, 2011 - my first relay with Bigfoot, though running with a team that was a composite set up by one of our leaders.
I really didn't know what to expect as I had not run in six weeks due to a tender ankle. The ankle was still tender and I had it wrapped up in an ankle brace. I was mostly concerned about how it would hold up on the back part of the course, which is downhill - quite steep at times.
I ran the second leg of the right leg race. Right after getting the baton, I passed a runner who was in front of me. While I got out of the gates quickly, it was a bit of a struggle as, though my fitness was pretty good, I had gotten in no running in six weeks.
I shot off. I was already pulling away from the first guy I passed on the leg and it would only be another hundred meters before I reeled in two others. Though I had to force myself on legs that really were sluggish, I was able to get a good pace going.
About 500 meters into the leg is where the long 1300 meter climb hits. Fortunately, my running legs had made an appearance by then, but I was slightly winded. I really had to work hard up the hill to both maintain my pace and keep the breathing going. I was able to do this, and pass a handful of runners in the process.
After the crossover on the top of campus came the downhill part. My ankle was holding up nicely and while I did take it a little easier than normal, I was still making good progress. I was still shadowing the kid from the university division that I had been behind since about 300 meters into the leg (the only person who passed me and stayed ahead of me the entire leg) and ran down with a high schooler who came up on me from behind. Together, we passed a handful of runners and ran nearly stride for stride on most of the downhill.
A little more than 4 km into the leg, it got relatively flat again and I was able to keep my pace going. Legs were feeling good and my breathing was fine. I also was able to pull away from the high schooler (good runner, though) and get past a couple of guys in the company division.
I then came in near the finish. I was feeling good, but with the humidity and the fact that short distances are really not my favorite, I was ready to get the baton on to the next runner. I have become a much better finisher over the past twelve months and was able to get into a good kick by this point.
Of course, seeing my two beautiful little angels (and my better half taking photos) also helped me to drive toward the finish line.
150 meters to go with the university student (in blue) who passed me early in the leg and who I was shadowing for most of it.
I put into my final kick to try to give my teammates every second possible. While I have never been a great sprinter (that is why I am a distance runner), I have picked up some speed lately. Still, not a lot today due to lack of speed training. I was still able to hold my position. I was really please to get that baton off to the third runner on the team.
I felt great about today's run. It is a tough course for such a short distance and the lack of training really did not help. Still, great to know that I can still generate a good pace and hang in there at the end. Shows that I don't have that much do to to get back race-ready for the fall season.
The group that impressed me most today was the 5th graders from Hui Wen Elementary School. There is no elementary school division, so they had to run with the middle schoolers. They were definately getting the support of everyone out there and while they finished last in their division, they did not finish last overall and they were on the top of the standings for the respect they gained today. Congrats kids. Well done."I am not afraid, I am very brave"
This is my favorite team name of today's race. I have no idea how they finished and it really doesn't matter. Their team name deserves first place in my book.