The race started at 7pm, and we arrived around 6. We warmed up by jogging the course (Sadie joined us), which was a simple out-and-back on a flat, paved path alongside the Snake River. I set my 5k PR (19:30) back in March. I'm in better shape than I was back in March, and much faster, so I expected that I'd have no problem lowering it, even with no tapering or race-rest. The question was how much lower I could get it. I thought a sub-18 was possible, so I set that as my A goal. (Sub 19=B goal; sub PR=C goal.)
About 50 people lined up at the starting line. Joe took off like a cannon (we'd already established that he's faster than me at these distances), and I took off like a similar cannon but with less gunpowder. Joe led from start to finish, and after about a mile I was in control of the second position while running a pace I was unfamiliar with.
Around mile 2 the thought occurred to me that maybe I was going to die from an exploding heart. I was pushing hard and it was hurting everywhere and my lungs were crawling up my throat searching for air...no sense in leaving anything in the tank. But man, an empty tank hurts! I was just about ready to give in and flop myself onto the side of the path forever when I saw the finish line a couple hundred meters away, so I decided to keep going.
The timekeeper was calling out the time, "17:49, 17:50, 17:51," and when I crossed the finish line she said, "17:59." My A goal was met, second place, and another PR set -- a good excuse to go out for a beer.
On Saturday I went north to check out some of the trail I'll be running for my attempt to run across Idaho. My friend, Annie, joined me on her bike. She will be crewing for me on my big run, so we used this training run to scout some of the vehicle access points where she might be able to meet me. I ran 30 miles on Saturday, and then we drove back up on Sunday to run another 10 mile section. Even Sadie was tired.
It's going to be a beautiful course. I really think the flat pavement is going to be my hardest challenge; I'm used to climbing and descending and mixed terrain. This course will be 100% runnable, so I'll need to be keen on making myself take walk breaks throughout the day. And I'm crossing my fingers that it won't be 90 degrees - I'm thinking about 60 degrees all day long would be just fine.
Here's a couple photos from my 30-mile training run.
Exploring the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes
It's a blessing to run through country like this
Less than two weeks to go. I'm excited. This is going to be quite the challenge for me.