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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Geezer Billygoat Death March!

While driving to the race this morning, I had started to think about weather I could run this 10K under 55 minutes based on my three previous 5K races in the last two months. It was a beautiful day, and race temperatures were slated to be between 55 and 61 for the duration I was expecting to be out there. As I was driving down the 4 miles of gravel road on the way to the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park I began to notice that I was driving parallel to a nice set of mountains. When I got to race registration, I noted that the 5K runners race map ran along fire trail roads that generally stayed parallel to the mountains, while the course map for the 10K ran right into the mountains over two climbs, ran on top of a ridge, and then returned on those nice fire roads. So my brain said hey duetsche bag, what are you freakin' doing this looks very hard! I had a fleeting thought about maybe asking if I could change to the 5K, but am too damn stubborn decided to just stay with it.
The race wasn't too bad for the first two miles and I set a goal of just staying under 6 minute per kilometer pace, so as not to die in the mountains and to keep the event under an hour. At this point, the "trail" turned to absolute crap. It constantly rose, weaving sharply back and forth, with tons of loose rocks, roots, and assorted obstacles. Bye the time I got to about 3 3/4 miles on the ridgeline, I thought I was going to die. I had almost fallen twice, the inside of my left ankle hurt, both my knees hurt, and my pace had fallen to 6:20 per kilometer. After about another half mile along the ridge, we turned onto the fire roads for a long downhill run to the finish. I tried not to allow myself to "brake" on the way down and tried to keep the pace as fast as safely possible. My overall pace began to get close to 6 minute a kilometer, and for the last kilometer and a half I went full idiot and came thru the chute in 56:41 for a 9:07 per mile pace. Within ten minutes of slow walking after the race, I hurt pretty much from head to toe and vowed this was gonna be a one and done race......leave this kind of course to the billy goats! As the results began to be posted, I noted that I had won the 60 and over age group. As more and more folks came thru, nothing changed. I ended up being the oldest of the 10K finishers bye six years. My more intelligent geezer buddies in their 60's had run the 5K. As a reward for my torture, I won this little pot with a desert succulent. I think I will pay for this race for at least a week. Then, if the aches disappear, I will have two weeks to train and one to taper before my last race attempt of the year, the 5K at the Las Cruces half marathon........

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