Today as part of my 10K training I participated in the Tess Charity Run, a run for which the proceeds go to assist battered and abused women in seeking help and counseling.
The race was a 5K trail run that ran over the blue and yellow tracks of Turkey Mountain. It had a M shape elevation chart with some reasonable technical pieces, mostly the vertical ups and downs.
A smaller turn out, only 81 participants were in the race. There was also some larger race going on at the same time that probably pulled folks out because a) it was larger and b) it was street. It’s been my experience and I’m sure everyone’s that trail runs pull quite smaller fields.
I’d like to say I held back knowing this was just the first 5K of the day for me but I ran it about 90% effort. Enough to place 2nd in my age group but let’s face it, 2nd in your age group when there are 81 total runners isn’t all that.
Let’s just say I finished near the 66 percentile on the wrong side of the halfway point. There were a fairly good set of speedsters there today with winner turning in a 22 minute 5K trail run. We actually picked him out before the race as the person that was going to win, he showed up in racing flats and ran in just a pair of shorts.
But overall I felt decent for the race, running the 5K on trails with a fair bit of vertical 5 minutes slower than my last flat road 5K last week that I ran about 95% effort.
After the race I caught up with a friend who ran it as well albeit faster than me (but a minute slower than my road time) and we went up the hill to do another 5K on the Pink aka Snake Run trail although we cut out that right hand out and back as you’re coming back up on the official Snake Run route which makes it 3.5 miles instead of 3.1. Leave that short out and back off and it’s almost exactly a 5K.
We had a good time on both the race and the training run afterwards but with only a couple of exceptions I’ve had a good time with races and even those that were ‘bad’ aka my first marathon, Little Rock, my first 25K, Pumpkin’ Holler, my second half marathon, T-Town Half were still not bad. Yes the last few miles of each one of those was pretty bad but everything leading up them was enjoyable so a few bad miles due to injury, dehydration, whatever isn’t enough to detract from the overall experience.
And if you don’t push right up to and even a bit beyond the breaking point, you won’t ever know what your really capable of.