2010 Alameda RACE

I could­n’t have asked for a nicer day for a race. The sun was shin­ing but it was­n’t too hot, even con­sid­er­ing the rel­a­tive­ly late race start of 9:45 am. The race course takes advan­tage of the street clo­sures for the Alame­da Inde­pen­dence Day Parade and the run­ners start fif­teen min­utes before the parade follows.

Because we fol­lowed the parade course, the race had a big audi­ence. Peo­ple lined the streets the whole way, and the streets were down­right crowd­ed near the start­ing line on Park Street in Alame­da. Folks cheered and applaud­ed us run­ners the whole way, which was a great boost. 

One thing Alame­da does­n’t have is hills. The whole course was flat and run­ning the course was a mat­ter of find­ing a sus­tain­able pace and keep­ing with it. I did notice that it felt like work more than I expect­ed it to, but I kept it going for the whole course and had a bit of ener­gy left for a boost in speed once the end was in sight, and I was­n’t the only one. I found myself push­ing hard to keep the run­ners near me from pass­ing. One did get past me, but I was able to hold off two others.

At 117th place I’m not real­ly all that con­cerned about whether I’d come in 118th or 119th, but I find it refresh­ing that even at my lev­el, far away from those vying for top place­ment or place­ment even in an age group, that some com­pet­i­tive spir­it flour­ish­es. It’s not so much that I care that those peo­ple did­n’t pass me. Instead, I’m glad that they tried to pass me and that I rose to the chal­lenge. That’s part of what makes the race fun.

The best news is that I did­n’t have any knee or foot trou­ble the whole way, and I was able to walk nor­mal­ly after the race. I’m still expe­ri­enc­ing some pops and an occa­sion­al twinge in my knee and foot, but I’ve got­ten away from the con­stant pain when I put weight on my left side. I seem to be heal­ing up. The chal­lenge for me now is to devise a sched­ule that increas­es dis­tance and pace much more grad­u­al­ly than I had increased last month. I’m not yet sure what that plan will look like except that I need to focus on short­er dis­tances and a high­er fre­quen­cy of runs, with at most a sin­gle six or sev­en mile run dur­ing the week and the rest in the two-to-four mile range.