Friday, July 04, 2008

Those Dreams Have Remained

This morning I pinned a race bib to my shirt and waited for the sound of the air horn. I was off and running my first race in four months.

Tyler and I drove down to Huntington Beach for the Surf City Run 5K. Back in 2003 this was my first race ever. I had no idea what I was doing at the time. I'd been running for a month on my own and for a week with the Snail's Pace Running Group. I was using an 8:1 run:walk sequence at the time. I'd read Galloway's book at the beginning of June. I took walk breaks in the race. I've never done that since that race. My time was 34:27 back then.

Surf City seemed like a fitting return to racing since I just got restarted in June, the same weekend I initially started running in 2003. My only real goal was to have fun and finish somewhere south of 30 minutes. Tyler hasn't been running much lately so his plan was to stick with me.

The beginning of the race was the usual crowding and jockeying for position. We probably placed ourselves a little further back than necessary. It took us just over 30 seconds to cross the starting line. The only real issue was walkers, 4 abreast, in the center of the road, too far up front. We've all fallen victim to them and they have every right to be on the course, but a little etiquette would go a long way. Tyler and I managed to stick together even with the weaving and bobbing.

We hit the first mile in 8:54 (my watch). That was a pleasant surprise. Not exactly Speedy Gonzalez but faster than any of my recent runs would have predicted. I just kept motoring along. Tyler was consistently just off to my right shoulder. At the halfway point, Tyler faded a step or two back. I couldn't see him out of the corner of my eye any longer. I just keep truckin' along. We had decided ahead of time to each run the best race we could.

I hit the 2 mile mark in 8:36. I was impressed with that. About that time I started getting the tingling feeling in my hands and on the top of my head that lets me know that I'm pushing a little. I kept moving forward as smoothly as possible.

The finish line is around a left turn. As I approached I could hear the announcer calling off the times and doing his best to get people to finish in 27:00 minutes. I thought - No way - but I stayed calmed pushed it a little and made it in at 27:10 or so official. The last 1.1 was at 9:15 for a final time by my watch of 26:45 - a very satisfying return to running/racing. Tyler came in about 1:30 after me.

Now I'm off to clean up the doggie doo doo and sweep the back porch. We're hosting about 25 friends for a July 4th swim party and barbecue. Feel free to stop by, the more the merrier.

note: the post title is a little snippet from the Welcome Back Kotter theme song.


Wes said...

That's a great return to racing! Congratulations. I've talked to Dee Dee. We are on our way over :-)

jeff said...

party at your place? we'll be there this afternoon! ;)

Backofpack said...

Whoo-hoo, Darrell is back! Way to go to both you and Tyler!

Steve Stenzel said...

Nice run!!! Great pace, and way to get faster as you went!!!

Happy 4th!

Anne said...

Oh, why didn't I read this earlier so I could crash your party. Nice comeback, Darrell.

Bex said...

Hey, I missed your party! But it sounds like you had a great July 4 race. I take it the race wasn't chip-timed, yes?

Journey to a Centum said...

Welcome back to the ranks of the obsessive runners! Sounds like you had an enjoyable return, nice work! Glad to hear Tyler is still at it.

It was a perfect day for running here. It was about 63 degrees when I started with occasional light misting rain. This is the first half of the White River 50 mile. The scenic half. The other half goes through much more open space and clear cut forest.

I didn't see another soul until about mile 22 of 27 when I started running into Mt. Bikers moving up the trail that I was coming down.

Bob Gentile said...

Very Nice return 5k race, congrats to you and Tyler!!

Sarah said...

Nice to see you return to consistent running and racing! Wishing you many, many more injury-free miles ahead. : )

yumke said...

Welcome back to racing! Don't you miss it? Great job.

Joe said...

Shoot, I had tingly feelings just reading this Darrell!! I'm so happy for you. And what a marvelous symmetry for you to break back in with the same 5K you started out with. This time with Tyler.

Hearing nothing here of twinges from your legs, I'm encouraged that they behaved.

Stay the will get back in due time. Patience will be rewarded.

Great news...just great news!!

Rae said...

Congratulations!!! I'm sure it feels great to be back in a race bib!