ENOUGH WITH THE SMALL TALK. HOW'D IT GO?
My streak of strong runs continued with a 1:27:08, a minute shy of my goal time but perfectly fine given that I didn't think about the hills when I set my goal.
DID YOU WIN?
I don't know if the weather was much better this year -- I think it was just a little better -- or a lot more speedsters showed up, but a time that would've earned me 4th place in my age group last year was only good for 11th this time (out of 59). Overall I was 55th of 739, 49th of 381 men.
HOW'D THAT HAPPEN?
The race was pretty standard White Rock fare until the 6-mile mark, when we turned off into the residential area and started hitting the hills. I crossed the 10K mat in 43:01 for a 6:55 average pace, just as planned.
The rest of the way, though, was a different story. It's just one hill after another through that Lakewood section, and I worked my butt off to get up each of them to try to sail down the other side. Somewhere along the way, maybe around mile 8 or so, I caught sight of esteemed masters runner Laura Nelson and made it my goal to catch her. I very gradually inched closer and really seemed to be gaining steam once I got back to the lake trail. I was within 100 yards as we hit mile marker 11.
But my last mile was a mess. I struggled to shift back into climbing mode for that one last hill by the spillway, and the turn back into the north headwind didn't help. I finished about 35 seconds behind Laura. I would've been another spot back in the standings, too, as another female runner sidled up to me with merely 30 yards to go. I couldn't pass the woman I was chasing but I was not about to get chicked here, so I dropped into a dead sprint and nosed this one out by less than a second.
I hadn't planned to, but I gave in and took the shuttle from Lakeside Baptist Church to the start. Many races in/near the lake sort of throw you to the wolves when it comes to parking, but TdF does a very good job of making sure you're where you need to be and you get to the start on time.
7:11 pace last .47
OK, WHAT ABOUT THE REAL REASON WE ALL RUN, THE STUFF?
You get a shirt. The money for any other goodies is devoted to prize money for top finishers and what I'm told are pretty nice awards for age-group winners, and I'm fine with that.
Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon, Sept. 23.