Monday, August 11, 2014

LoopMeet and Race Report!

RunDanRun is one of my long-time Loop heroes. We just missed meeting each other twice previously, but he was coming to LA with his family for a vacation, so we made sure to meet up this time - and of course find a race!

Friday night, Dan and his lovely family arrived at Chez Bangle, and we all went down to Redondo Pier for a little walk and dinner.
His two daughters were adorable, even during the Heimlich maneuver.

We loaded the girls in the back of the truck...
No, just playing around. So we had a nice evening. Of course, Dan and I got along like old buddies. His blogs paint him as a pretty intense guy, with some crazy hard workouts, tough goals, and laser focus. But in person he was more gentle then I expected. Just a nice sweet guy, who happens to kick serious ass when he puts on the short shorts.

Saturday morning we went to a local 10K called "The Hills are Alive". It is run on a variety of surfaces: horse trails, dirt path, some road, some gravel. It's really a fun course. There were four tunnels that were so dark you could not see your foot falls, just had to hope it was good. And there was horse poo to dodge. And then there were hills. Constant rolling hills.

Look at the first 1/4 mile. This would NOT be a PR course. But it was small, and I hoped for an AG place. Dan was seeing how close he could get to winning a race!

So, off we went. I was still smiling after the first hill.
The wives and the girls had to just wait until we got back, so they practiced being cute.
I survived the first hill and settled into a sustainable pace. The crowd was thin, and after about 1.5 miles I was basically by myself. Nobody passed me. There was one guy about 100 yards ahead of me that I was chasing most of the race. At least I had him to keep me motivated. But those rolling hills are tough! I was constantly losing momentum and sucking air on the uphills, only to regain my optimism on the downhills.

So I plugged along. Enjoyed the course. Stayed just under 8:00 pace. On that course, with the dirt and the hills, that was good enough. In mile 5 I started to gain ground on the guy ahead of me. I gradually reeled him in and blew by. Then there was no one ahead of me. But with only a mile to go, I used that momentum to push a little harder on the way in.

Meanwhile Dan was flying in to the finish!

He finished 7th overall. Nice job! The final 100 yards is down a steep hill, so we were flying!

I came in 17th with a 49:45. Garmin measured it a little long with 6.39 miles. Unfortunately some of my local fast friends from my AG showed up, and I finished 4th AG, just out of the medals.

But it was a fun time. 10K #95 in the books.

They had all the shirts from the race's beginnings in 1980.
Dan won his Age Group.
Then we went home for some of DW's breakfast burritos. And we had a few hours to kill before they left for the airport, so we walked down to the beach.


Life is GOOD!

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