August 9, 2003
I have not quite made it out of my mandatory one-week off from running, but I decide that I still want to do the Distance Derby 10 miler AND the 5 miler. This may not have been advisable.
The course begins at the Huntington Beach Pier and runs 2-1/2 miles south, turns around, and runs 2-1/2 miles north and then runs back to the pier.
The sheer force of the people around me pulls me through to the first turnaround, but then around Mile 3, I just can’t catch my breath and I walked for about 90 seconds. This put me into a pattern of walking 90 seconds and running about 5 minutes, effectively walking 2-3 minutes out of every mile.
After the final turnaround, most of the course is downhill (or flat) to the finish, so I was able to run in most of the way. Also, I wanted a small break between the first and second races. Since my finishing time in the 10-miler was 1:30:37, and the 5-mile race starts 90 minutes after the first race (plus usually a slight delay), I had maybe 2 minutes to shift my other bib to the top.
Since this was not a chip-timed race, people doing both races were given two bibs. I pinned both with the same four safety pins and then shifted their position (top/bottom) when the races switched. Nowadays, that probably doesn’t seem important, but when chips are not being used, then the timers will often make a note of the bib they saw at the finish to correspond with the times. If the bib from the first race is still showing, they may (later) adjust the results and eliminate that time, thinking it was a mistake.
For the 5-miler, I decided to walk UNTIL I felt human again, but, well, that feeling never really came. I think when I was able to see the pier in the distance (the 5-mile race is basically the first half of the 10-mile course), I managed a comfortable lope and finished in 55 minutes… in other words, just a mote faster than at Skyline (where I averaged 11:22 per mile).
This race can be classified as one of my back-to-backs, but coupled with the 50K only 6 days before, I would dare to call it a back-to-back-to-back! This week ended with nearly 60 miles of running and walking, and 45 of those miles were in races!