Sunday, November 09, 2008

Another weekend, another hike, another personal record, great!

Another weekend of great weather, hiking, running, and a Patriots win. Life was grand this weekend. Saturday was a hike to Little Devils Stairs, Keyser Run, and Hogback Mountain. Little Devils Stairs is a challenging hike up a canyon at the Shenandoah National Park Boundary. Wet leaves and some bouldering, added to a steep climb? Yeah I was quite tired after that. The other half of the climb saw me go up to Hogback Mountain, which when leafless like it was isn't much to look at but I wanted more vertical so I went to the radio tower nonetheless. Looking down from the tower area where the phone line went, if only the area got frequent snow it would make for a killer ski trail. The climb down was uneventful except for when I thought I walked past Boles Cemetery on the Keyser Run Fire Road.

Today I set another personal record for a 10K Race at the Veterans Day 10K. The course is rather non-descript, the cause is definitely important. I was actually a bit late for the race because of the portable restroom line. My friend wanted to start the race so I said I'd meet up with her at the end of the race. I started about 2 1/2 minutes after the start gun, which actually helped me build a good pace. I did start passing a bunch of people, but with proper etiquette. Onward I went.

To make a long story short, I ran at a good pace, figuring I'd break 50 minutes but not threaten my record, but it was a great day to run and I'd also prove to myself that my 47:55 record was not a fluke. When I got to Mile 5, I felt stronger than I did at Mile 1. I guess I picked up my pace a bit, because I swear I pushed my 7:05 first mile from last week up until Mile 6 because my finish time kept getting lower and lower. With a slight pickup of pace but definitely not an all-out sprint, I ran through the finish line at 47:13, 42 seconds off of my previous record!

I'm competitive but mostly within myself, I know I'll never beat the top runners in a race. But I am pleasantly surprised to be doing as well as I am with these races. This is still a new process for me but I strive to get leaner, fitter, and become a better runner. I didn't really try for a personal record today until the end of the race, to be honest. All I was trying for is a good pace and verify my last 10K result.

The afternoon saw me venture to Murphy's Pub to watch the Pats beat the Bills 20-10. Good game with the biggest crowd of Pats fans of the season. And I got to improve my promotional skills by passing out the paper and pens for the patrons to write their names for the jersey giveaway. This weekend was good.

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