Sunday, April 5, 2009

Layoff, Schmayoff

Saturday was Helen's long-awaited return to racing.
After her injury last fall, and her months of rehab, she rejoined the ranks of local racers at a 10-K race at Tyler Arboretum.

It's a nice race – 6.2 miles of rolling hills out in the woods. A trail race, but not nearly as technical as the other trail races we've done (or as the Wissahickon, for that matter). 300 or so runners. Helen did this race last year, and came in 3rd – behind fellow wanderer Sharon, and some other woman that we didn't know.

We weren't sure what to expect with the race. Helen was worried about running hard, after so much time off from racing. I tried to explain to Helen that she might not need to run hard, if she was going to win anyway! Maybe I was overly optimistic, though... No, alas, Helen did not come in first in the race.

She did come in 2nd, though. Not too shabby! Especially for the first race of the season! And the time was within a minute or so of her time last year, which bodes well for her overall fitness.

For me, this was the first time doing the race. I came to cheer Helen on last year, but it came one week after my marathon, so no way I was going to try running it. I liked the race, though. Boy, is it ever rolling! I was around 3-4 miles in when I realized just how rolling it was. The hills were never that steep, never that long, but they were pretty relentless.

I was pleased with my own race. I finished 18th overall. 43:35, I think, which is my new 10-K pr. (The streak lives!) I was hoping for some sort of age group award, but it wasn't meant to be. (The organizers, who did an awesome job otherwise, did manage to screw up the handing out of awards, but that didn't change anything for me. I think I was 7th in my age group or something? Prizes three deep. And next year, things don't get any easier for 40-year-old Noah either). But I don't think I could have run much better than I did.

Next up for Helen? Maybe Clean Air, maybe not. Then on to Broad Street.
For me? Not sure. Maybe I'll actually run one of these 10-Ks on the road some day.

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