Yes, I am still alive, and still running. We went out of town for a little while to visit family over the 4th of July, and I just haven't gotten back into the swing of things as far as this blog goes. Hopefully, I'll start posting a little more regularly now that we are back. Although, just last night I was talking with Lani about how my new hobby might get in the way. My cousin gave us her old piano a couple months ago, and I've started learning how to play and absolutely love it. We'll see if this turns into a piano blog. Until that happens though, I have a race to report.
The Freedom Run is a race I've done several times already. There is a 5k and a 10k. I've done the 5k several years ago, and Lani and I ran the 10k last year. I decided to do the 5k again this year since I am still being very cautious about my knee. I've been able to run 5-6 miles with no problem at all, but longer runs don't always agree with it. And besides, I want to run fast. The race started just south of Brigham Young University, the ol' alma mater, and followed the 4th of July Parade route, then finishing uphill at Kiwanis Park.
I had previously checked out last year's results, and thought that if I could run about 19:45 I'd have a pretty good chance at an age group award, so that was my goal. As I waited for the start, I was scoping out the competition. I spotted a few possible 30-somethings, but couldn't tell for sure. I had some technical difficulties with my watch at the start, but got off the line pretty quickly. I quickly settled into what I thought was a comfortably hard pace, and one of those 30-somethings came along beside me. We were together for most of the 1st mile. But when I got to the mile marker, I looked at my watch and saw 5:50, I knew I was going way too fast. Knowing I had a hill to climb at the end, I pulled back a bit.
The next mile passed with at 6:40 split. I was hoping for something closer to 6:20, but oh well. Once I turned off the parade route, the hill loomed ahead. I could see the 30-something just a little ahead of me. I've always been pretty strong on hills, but living in flat Phoenix for the last two years hasn't given me much opportunity to train on hills, so I really didn't know what was going to happen on this hill. But, one by one, I started passing people, including that 30-something. It was really cool cruising past so many people. I then turned the corner, entered the park and sprinted to the finish where I met Lani and the kiddos.
I finished with a 19:49, almost a full minute faster than my New Year's Day race, and more than 2 minutes faster than my run at the zoo, so I was pretty pleased. I didn't think it was good enough to place though. Turns out it was, actually. In fact, it was good enough for 1st place in my division. Definitely was not expecting that. I received a nice little glass trophy with an eagle and American flag etched inside.
The rest of our trip was filled with some incredible runs through my old stomping grounds. I definitely miss the hills, canyons, trees, water, cooler weather, and trails of Utah.