|The elite race|
I was up early on Sunday, riding my bike in the rain in order to run repeats on a muddy hill. I mean, can you think of a better way to kick off Father's day? The Lipbuster Challenge is simple: run up and down the trail that parallels Elwood Ave. as many times as you can in one hour. Its around of 140 feet of climb and descent in a half-mile lap. The weather did not cooperate this year; it rained enough in the early hours to make a muddy mess of things. The rain finished just before 8:15 elite race, but at that point the damage had been done; the clay dirt trails were as slick as a greased sumo wrestler.
I ran the 9:30 heat, hoping to best my ten lap PR from last year. It turns out there is a huge difference between ten and eleven laps in a race like this.
I finished the tenth lap with about five minutes left on the clock. There was a good chance I could pull it off, but it would be close. Sure enough, reaching the bottom of the hill for the eleventh time, I see that there are twenty five seconds left to run several hundred more feet. Pretty soon the race director is shouting in the megaphone and people at the finish line are cheering me on and I'm sprinting for the finish. Alas, it was not meant to be. Five seconds short!
While the first ten laps were mostly a blur, I can still remember details from the last climb and descent. Details that could have made the difference of five seconds... maybe. Its funny how you second guess yourself when you come up just short of meeting a race goal.
Don't get me wrong though; it was thrilling to be that close. And I did improve my time from last year and got some conditioning in for our upcoming trip to Colorado.