Clarksburg 20

Place: 183/358
Pace: 9:30

The Goal

The triathlete training bible talks a lot about different type of races. “A” races being the big one or two you train for in the year, “B” races being ones you put effort into, but don’t push and train to the edge, and “C” races being those that you do, just as part of training, and just to do. No pushing, no risk, you’re just there because you love to race. That’s what Clarksburg was to me; a chance to do a 20 mile, pre-marathon, typical Sunday training run. In that light, I got exactly what I wanted out of the run, I finished, I had good times with a friend, I accomplished some speed work I never thought myself capable of, and I loved it. As a bellwether to my CIM success, all signs point to positive. Yay me!

The Course

Let me just say, this is what was meant by “Avenue of the Vines,” not the “Bovines” event. The course was beautiful, the day was perfect, I couldn’t have asked for better run conditions. The course meandered through the streets of Clarksburg, a small town just along the river, south of Sacramento. Parts of the run went through wineries, parts through country roads, parts along the levy above the river tributary. It was amazing, quaint, and perfect. In a heartbeat, I’d do this run again.

The Run

I usually title this part, “The Race,” but since I wasn’t really racing, I’m just going to call it the run. As a training run, I didn’t push myself at all. I told Harry when I was trying to get him to do this (which he had a good excuse for missing, being in Oregon),

that I wouldn’t race it, but would rather run alongside him the whole time. Well, Harry didn’t show, but Amanda did! So, I extended the same idea over to running with Amanda, and we did the first 15 miles of Clarksburg together, chatting, keeping our minds off of injuries, and just enjoying the beautiful course. Thanks, Amanda! I would rather run with friends any day, and it’s friends who’ve helped me get to where I am today.

So anyway, the first fifteen miles were pretty mild. We paced in the low 9s to start, but as injuries and a week of sickness began to catch up with Amanda (I still can’t believe she ran twenty miles after being sick all week long), our pace slowed down to the mid 10s. Around mile ten, I forewarned Amanda that I might take off around mile fifteen, depending on how we were doing. Well, right at fifteen, Amanda’s injuries really started to get to her, our pace was down to about 11s, and I felt the need to push myself a little more. So I took off for the last five miles… and it was awesome.

For the last five miles, I was running (depending on headwinds) between 6:50s and 8:20s. I would have never thought that, after fifteen miles (my longest run ever at that point), I could kick it up to run sub 8s. Frank, at mile 18 or so, told my that I could catch up with Hiroshi, and try I did. Just thirty seconds, he said, and at the 400 meter mark, I saw Hiroshi ahead. His pace was slower than mine, and I thought I had him, but that 400m mark put a fire under his feet and he sped up, leaving me to come in just a few seconds behind him. It was a nice push to bump up my speed just a little more, and I had a great time doing it.