The Nightmare on Paseo St - Rescue Run 2016

We've all that that nightmare of showing up for a race and somehow missing the start. Get busy talking, stuck in the portapottie line - whatever. You watch your event take off from the starting line, helpless to catch up and be a part of it. I know I've had that dream many times and always make sure I get to the venue with enough time to take care of business prior to the start. So I'm not entirely sure what happened on Friday... My time management skills need a bit of work!

Nick, Cam, Amber and I got to the park with plenty of time. I headed out for my warmup, wanting to make sure my right hamstring was as loose and warm as I could get it in the 15* weather. I knew I'd have to run smart and probably quite a bit easier then I'm used to at the Rescue Run. The warmup went well. I actually felt pretty good with just a little tightness in my hamstring. Feeling optimistic, I was jogging past the fenced in dog run area when I decided to glance at the time. Yikes!!  9:55.... The 10k started at 10! And I had at least half a mile to run to get to the start! I still had all my warmup clothes on - my heavy gloves, my hat and my puffy coat... It was during my sprint to the start that my hamstring twinged again - not enough to stop me in my tracks but enough to force me to change my stride and hobble to the line. My leg was sending me the message loud and clear that I could run - but don't try to run fast. I was tempted to try to drop to the 5k as I was hurriedly giving Nick my clothes, but by then it was too late. We were about to start. I found a spot in the crowd, a little further back then usual and waited the few seconds until the gun went off. 

When my hamstring twinged on my dash to the line, my plan changed from trying to be competitive to just running as hard as was comfortable. That was harder mentally then going all out! I had to willingly settle down and back off the pace, watching the women's race run away from me. I was right behind a cluster of four women and kept trying to pick up the pace to catch up. And kept backing off to my steady effort level. Every time I decided to try to run a little faster, my hamstring would soundly overrule me. As long as I kept the pace easy, I was able to run without altering my gait pattern. So easy I kept it, making sure that it was the tension in my leg that was making the speed decisions, not my very competitive nature. One of my friends said I was "squirming" at that pace! But I was able to finish with a decent, however slow time for me. Can't say my hamstring was too happy when I was done!
I look like I'm having more fun then I really am at this point...

Something different this year with the Rescue Run - the 5k started 15 minutes after the 10k. It made the start much nicer and not nearly as congested. But oh my - when we rejoined the 5k course after our loop on Yucca Flats? It was crazy busy. It wasn't like the 5k runners were not aware that we were coming up behind them - it was just that there were so many people that there was nowhere to go! I was doing a lot of dodging and weaving and hoping I wasn't being too rude trying make my way through the crowd. The racers we were catching were moving faster then the walkers that are normally the ones we catch, so it was better then last year. With the numbers of people doing the race now, I don't think there's any good way to split up the fields. Make the 5k wait too long and it's going to be really cold for them. Start them first and it might get really congested as the faster 10kers try to work their way through. I have no solutions other then to expect the crowds. At least in nice weather years! I never thought I'd see this happen, but I think the Rescue Run might be outgrowing Palmer Park! It's such a fun way to start the year though - I try to do whenever I'm not working. 
Team Fieldhouse! Or at least some of us...
And then there's this! Something very new for me this year - participating in the social aspects of running! This time with the Brewers Cup - adding a team element to the races I was already planning on doing and encouraging me to do a few I wouldn't have otherwise. I'm running for Team Fieldhouse, naturally since they have the best GF beer for Nick, beer that I love and a very friendly atmosphere! More on the Brewers Cup later...

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