This past Saturday saw the conclusion of my racing for 2012 (unless something awesome comes along) in a most fitting way as I had the opportunity to do two races: a road 5K and a trail '5K'. I found this nice way to close things out as I wanted a nice fast road course and thought it would appropriate to have one more trail race since I did so much of it this year.
For the road 5K, I went back to Lansdowne's YMCA Reindeer Run. It is a small race with cheap entry ($10 w/ shirt) that has a course suited to my strengths. In other words, a fast course that is not purely flat. Going in this year, I felt I could go under 16 minutes. And that I did! Total domination in 15:41. From the gun, I just put my head down and pushed as hard as I could. As a reward for the effort, I got 6 months to the local YMCA. Pretty sweet since I had my award from last year so I got a full year of family membership that I cashed in.
Since the road race was at 8am, the timing worked out well that I could get in an 11am trail race. (@ Haverford Reserve) Even better, it was only 10 minutes away. I got to the site around 10am. And I admit, I was a bit tired from my effort so I thought about not racing to save a few hours of my day. I decided to do the whole course backwards and go home. Now while I ran the course, I did more than just go home. I opted to sign up. It was my plan to race it from the beginning. So what if I had a hard effort prior, pushing my limits is what makes me a better tougher runner. At 11am, the field was off. I got into the lead around the 400m mark and worked through a challenging longer than 5K course. Doing the course in reverse was helpful once the race started as I could take the best lines possible. My favorite part is when there was a huge log to go over. The organizers had placed a couple of boards (for the lead bike) to help go over it. I strode over that log using the boards with great finesse. So much so, I ran right up the back of the bike to which I had to ask to speed up or move over. (It moved over.) In the end, I won this in 20:19. The course was somewhere between .25 and .6 miles long. (I'd say more like .45) Afterwards, had some nice hot pizza the organizers ordered. Nice fitting way to end all the day's racing.
What is more, my goal of hitting 2600 miles for the year was met during the trail race. I'll be running a bit less for this month. It will help me recover and take sometime to bask in my achievements while looking forward to 2013.