Run report, Pacifica 21km. Sunday June 14, 2013.
In a nut shell: doing stupid things faster with more energy is one way to describe my latest approach to running. I'd planned on taking this run easy, but like a hound, once I came from the rear of the pack and glimpsed the leaders (the female leaders... it should be duly noted that I never race the men on the courses) I wanted nothing more than to catch them. And possibly pass them. (Note: this was me being an idiot). I am still recovering from an IT band flare-up last December, but life has been good to me, and I've had mostly happy legs, tendons and joints, so felt ready to re-visit this baseline distance of 13 miles (sort of my own personal arbitrary starting distance for trail racing).
Most of these ladies I so wrongly thought I could catch have been running for years (decades, even) I found out later, in post-race conversations. I have only been running for about 18 months. My legs are still soft and my form is still developing, yet for some reason, I fancy myself a runner. I believe that I belong up there at the front, or with the 'real' runners. This is craziness. This is ego, which always gets humans in trouble.
Simply put, I ran the first 3 miles from sea level to the top of North Peak (1,898 ft) rather quickly, passed most of the girls, then decided I'd catch the lead woman and trail her for the next 8 miles or so, and then pass her in the last few miles of the race. Silly, silly girl... I over-strode on the descent of North Peak and soon found my old friend IT band syndrome along for the ride.
At that point I had two options: I could either slow down and prevent dire outcomes or ignore the pain and stick with my plan. I chose the former, and ended up coming in 3rd. It was a gorgeous run and the after-run scene in the park was sunny and happy, big buckets of beer, homemade soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, watermelon and lots of smiling people.
The next-best part about the run, besides the awesome landscape and the lovely people, was the syrupy-sweet nap I took when I got home, the delirium of waking up in the afternoon, then the 3 more meals I ate that day, plus the 5 meals I ate yesterday, and the last 3 nights of delicious sleep--the rewards for good old fashioned physical exertion. Yes!
Today, back in the real world with mild muscle aches, I have a desire to go farther in every aspect of my life.