It has been since June 8, 2013 that I have run with other people much less raced. I really had no idea what to expect. Any other time I would be shooting for sub-60 but with poor training and my fall three weeks ago I wanted sub-70 but would have been happy with 75. There is a lot that went into this race.
First, is how I came to hear about it. My family and I were on our last hurrah, taking a trip to Tetons and Yellowstone. We stopped at the lodge in Yellowstone for breakfast on the recommendation of a church friend. When I sat down I looked up and there was a person sitting across from me with a shirt that said Adam’s Heart Runs. Now this is crazy in itself. My name is Adam, I do research on the heart, and I run. But what happened next blew us all away. I call across the counter to the guy and say hey my name is Adam where is that run? He says Birmingham, AL. The place I was moving in less than three weeks, what are the odds?!
Second, with my fall three weeks ago I had not run more than 5 consecutive miles but had already put money down for this race and for the marathon next weekend. So this was a huge test.
Third, after the race a guy comes up and talks to me. He was asking about my Utah gear. Turns out he is the guy who won the 10-mile race, is from St. George UT, and went to High School with a number of you bloggers. For those who are curious his name is Damon Cox, with a 1:08 ½ PR. He mostly talked about James Barnes, but also mentioned Dave Holt and Steve Hooper. So while in the West I see a guy wearing a shirt about a race in Birmingham and once I get to Birmingham the one guy I talk to at the race happens to be from Utah.
My performance in the race was a lot less exciting than the stories above. It was a smallish race but loads of fun. They have a 5K, 10K, and 10-miler. Less than 100 people per distance I would say. It is a hilly course, much tougher than the downhill give-mes in Utah… I got there way too early and chilled hung out in my car until about 40 to gun. Then did a 2.5-mile warm-up and the race was exactly on time. I lined up about 6 or 7 rows back and for the first mile just picked people off. Then in the second mile saw a lot of the people turn back for the 5K. The next mile picked off a few more people and then in mile 4 saw the 10K people turn back. It looked like 5 people were ahead of me and they all had a pretty good lead. But then we started a very long climb > 1 mi. The final half mile before the turnaround was down and I gradually gained on the 5th place guy and by the time we hit the 5 mile mark I was alongside him. As we turned back to head uphill he wished me luck. The second half of the race was mostly solo until I started catching back up with some of the 10k runners. The 3rd place guy was out of reach and by the time I made it down the backside of the tougher hill I was solidly in 4th, which is where I stayed. No cooldown just spoke with the winner and got my bottle opener with Adam’s Heart Runs on it as my 1st place age group medal.
Overall, I hit my time goal and was happy with being back on the road and finally getting to meet some of the local running community. However, I honestly do not know what to expect for next weekend. It is sad to say but with my lack of training and how hard it was to keep pace on this 10-miler I honestly could see just shooting for something in the 3:30-4:00 range. I’m sure that won’t be the case but I think a sub-3:00 that is normally my do or die goal is solidly out of question.