2010 I started running and there have been people following my journey both at home and at work. Most of the time the support sounds something like this;
What the hell are you doing at 11 pm at night running?
You were dropped on your head as a child.
Are you okay?
You are a nut.
There have been a few who have caught the running bug themselves. A few weeks ago I had the chance to run with a group and it was so nice to have that spirit of sharing. At work we were talking about how great if we ran at midnight. A friend said...if you find the race I am down to do it. So a few minutes later, the Point Mugu Year-to-Year run was on my screen. I am really lucky to run it with four awesome people and I had blast.
The race itself started at 11:50 pm - 12/31/2010! The race sold out! There were 163 souls out there looking to start off 2011, heck the new decade, one foot in front of the other. So I put on my tuxedo cycling jersey...keep it classy.
The race itself was a two loop course in an out and back. It was a gun start with chip timing so the finishing times were going to be a little off depending on where you started. We were 10 people deep and gave each other a New Year hugs a few minutes before the race. My plan was to run a good first mile but step on the gas the second mile and try and hold for the third.
Bang! And I darted across to the inside because it was a quick right turn. I figured I would find someone holding a pace I felt comfortable at and I would stick to them at least for mile one. On the turn I ended up in near the front pack and it immediately thinned out since so many people were taking the turn I assume there were some elbows. I ran behind a guy with a dog. He was keeping a steady clip.
I stayed with the guy with the dog as a few runners darted past me (I caught them later). I was patient and thought to myself, run your own race, enjoy it for what it is…a welcome to a new Decade! Around the one mile mark the Guy and Spike(dog), eh sounds good, picked up the pace and shrugged me off. But at 1.5-ish Spike had to pee and I was able to catch up. We stayed together the whole first loop and I kept it consistent.
Loop two I was starting to breathe a lot heavier but I still felt plenty strong. The half way point of the loop I sprinted ahead of Spike and Dude, I knew I would try and push at the end and I figured tripping on a dog leash may not be a good way to end 2010. At this point guy in red jacket passed me and I saw my shadow bouncing up and down. It was little lady with a hand lamp. She came roaring by me and was probably 50 or 60 yards ahead of me with a little over a mile left.
I kicked up my knees and pushed to try and catch guy in red jacket and little lady with hand lamp. With a quarter of a mile to go and having put out some effort my feet were giving me the finger and my calves, that had been good to this point, started quivering in the cold midnight air.
With .2 to go I went gnarly with the stride and let it open up, I passed little lady with the hand lamp but came short of catching guy in red jacket by 3 seconds, but I was proud of myself for digging deep and putting the hammer down when I did.
I went back out to the course to cheer my friends to a strong finish and those other crazies that thought running at midnight would be a good idea. I am blessed to have this opportunity and it is definitely a wonderful way to welcome a new year.
Chip Time: 24:51 (New PR)
Place: 29th overall
1 – 8:27
2 – 8:29
3 – 8:07