I picked up my bib this morning at the Lutheran High School 5K and I was #7. #7!!! The low numbers are for the elite runners not an over 40 midpack marathoner. But hey, I'll take it. Jesse, Jim and Jay were there too. Their numbers were 3, 4 and 6. They all thought that the numbers may have had something to do with our standing in the Puma Cup Series. I'm not sure, but it was fun to be elite for a minute.
The field for this race was pretty small. The official results show only 65 finishers. I really wasn't sure what to expect. The course was not the best layout possible. We circled the parking lot of the Block of Orange, a shopping mall, twice and then doubled back for a third lap. There were a lot of turns in the course and speed bumps to be on the lookout for. I made sure to either step completely over them or right on top of them. I just decided to run and not worry about the clock.
I started out too fast, but settled down about a quarter mile into the race. A little ways into the second lap I passed one guy. For the next mile or more I slowly crept up on a couple running side-by-side. With about a half mile to go the girl dropped back. I almost caught the guy, but never did. As I rounded the last corner of the mall, I could see the finish line, but I wasn't paying any attention to the time clock. Jesse came running back out and yelled, "Go, you're going to break 22:00." I gave it all the effort I could. I could hear Jesse calling out the time, "21:43, 21:44, 21:45" His voice faded away and I pushed as hard as I could and crossed the finish line in 21:54. I broke 22:00 and set another PR. I couldn't believe it. I probably wouldn't have done it, if it hadn't been for Jesse coming back out to cheer me on. Thanks, Jesse. Jesse finished in 19:32, a PR for him and improved from just a week ago. Go Jesse! There's only one race left in this series and it is billed as an "almost 5K". I don't know if its short or long, but it looks like I'm done setting 5K PR's for a little while.
I still had some running to do. My marathon schedule called for 14 miles today. I have tried to modify my schedule some to see if I can increase my weekly mileage from 35 average to 50 average, following the general rule of not increasing mileage more than 10% per week. I'm calling the 5K the 10% increase this week, so I kept the original schedule as well.
After the race in Orange, I headed over to the Santa Ana River Trail. I jumped onto the trail at the 18.5 mile mark at Riverdale Park in Anaheim and headed south. I ran 7 miles to a little past Chapman Ave. before I turned around. This is the exit that I took to get to the Block of Orange. I had run back to within a half mile of this morning's 5K . I hadn't realized where I would end up when I started the run. I had to run over Katella Ave and under the 57 freeway and thought of Drew's run there when he and his family visited Disneyland a while back. South of Katella the trail takes on a different vibe for sure. The trail goes past the Arrowhead Pond and Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The underpass of the freeway was littered with race bibs from the Catalina Marathon. How they got there I don't know. I finished the 14 miles in 2:07 ( 9:04 pace). Not bad, I felt, after the 5K.