Cuyamaca 6k

So this was the last race in the Dirt Dog Series before this weekends championship race which will be down in Mission Bay Park. It's kinda cool that it's down in Mission Bay Park because back in 2008 I went to the USATF Cross Country Championships and it was hosted on that same course. I remember running with a few friends around  fiesta island before the races started and I couldn't even keep up with them at an 8 minute pace. That was the first time I thought about getting back into shape. And also because of these same thoughts that are greatly expressed in this
New Balance commercial:

As far as last weekends race went...Well, it went horrible. Probably my worst race of the season. I think I was most bummed because I tapered a bit for the race. I did very little swimming and biking, so that I would have my "running legs" for the race. At Tuesday's track workout, I had a bit of a breakthrough. We did 5 sets of 1000 meters with a 200 float and then a 400. I was clipping off 5:20 pace for the 1000's and sub 5 for the 400's and felt great. I felt like I could do another 2 sets---which is where you want to be on a hard workout. You don't want to leave it all on the track, save it for the race....

Back to the race...The forecast was for rain, which is a bummer because that means no wifey and kids again. Sure enough, just before the gun went off it started to rain---nothing too bad, just enough to make things slick. I felt "ridiculously good" the first mile-which cost me. I went through at 5:15 which, I found out, is too fast for me right now. At the time, I thought maybe I was going to have a break through race too, so after I heard my split I continued to hammer. Well about 5 mins later I was hurting and fading fast. This wasn't the "I Love the Hurt" type of hurt though....This was the type of hurt that you can't do anything about...You just fade. I pretty much spent the rest of the race going backwards. I finished 7th in my age group and 24th overall in 21:48. Terrible, but lesson learned. A bit of the "old James" kinda took over me at the end of the race and I'm glad my wife and kids weren't around. I stormed off after I finished, just pissed off and telling myself how much I hate Cross Country (I did the same thing in hs and college). I had a bad race, it was rainy and cold and my nipples were bleeding....Yup, that's why you see weird runners putting band aids on their nipples when it's cold before they run. I forgot to and after the race and cool down, my shirt had half dollar blood stains around my nips...Sweet.

One thing I've always been good at is channeling my anger over a race and turning it into motivation. You don't learn anything when you win. You always do when you lose, so for this final weeks race I'm actually going in with a strategy. I'm going to go out very slow (5:40-5:45 pace) and then just start clipping off negative splits the rest of the way in and pass as many people as I can. I love the racing and excitement that come with championship races. Even though it's just the Dirt Dog Series, I always seem to do better at the bigger races. Two years after barely making a lap around fiesta island, I'm very excited to go down and compete!
The rest of the day Amy and I had grandma and grandpa watch the kids while we went up with some friends to Julian to enjoy some pie and "fall foliage." Just kidding on the foliage...We also hit up Witch Creek Winery for a tasting. Nothing special there except maybe their last desert wine that was fermented in some old bourbon barrels. Tasty!

The next day I hammered a 50 mile bike ride that took me from Temecula to Valley Center and back. I climbed about 3800 feet and had a blast. It was a beautiful Halloween! My legs felt great and I even got lucky on the ride because halfway through I blew a flat and found out that my co2 cartridge was empty. About 5 minutes later a group of riders came by and saved me. I flew home and after taking Amy's mp3 player that has both of our music on it, I found my self listening to one of my favorite songs from a band called Strung Out while tackling my toughest climb of the day, only to be followed by Fergie....The rest of that climb was rough and very funny----that's what I get for putting it on shuffle!

Until next week---


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