Monday, September 13, 2010

05/13: Katy Trail 5K

You'd think after nearly three months - maybe more than three months, depending on how long it takes me to actually post this - I'd have found something to say about the Katy Trail 5K, but when you throw in the caveat that I'd like whatever I blather to be at least passingly original, it don't come easy. Lord, it don't come easy. You gotta pay your dues..wait, where was I? Oh yeah, well, I've run this race nine or ten times now...wait a second...ten, according to the official runes, the last ten in a row. I guess they started it in 1999; I think this year's was the twelfth. It doesn't change much from year to year; it's usually warm, humid and crowded, and this year it was warm, humid, and crowded. It's kind of amazing, actually, that so far as I can remember it's never rained on the race or picnic despite May being an opportune month for thunderstorms.

I shot my wad early in this one - my first mile was 7:21 and after that there was jogging and some walking, mixed in with walking and jogging. The course was the same as in recent years - Turtle Creek Boulevard to Blackburn to Cole to Elizabeth to the Katy Trail to the finish - and I walked part of the hill at Blackburn. Which is earlier in the race than usual but I wasn't in peak condition; it's been kind of a lackluster running year thus far, and I've always hated that hill anyway. Well, I think maybe I've done a race or two where I got to run down it and I probably didn't hate it then.

The postrace picnic was massive, as usual, and crowded, also as usual. Finishing earlier to get to the food before the hordes descend should be motivation to train more seriously for this race, but to date this hasn't been the case. Partially because even running as mediocre as I did this year (26:19), I still get down to the grub while there's still elbow room. It's not until I'm making my second and third passes that the crowds are pressing up against my claustrophobic limits. Thank God for that V.I.P. thing - not only does it give me access to better beer than Michelob Ultra, I don't have to stand in line for it, either.

The other thing about this race that changes from year to year are the people I know that I run into. This year I saw one dude from Grapevine and four from Ultimate, although two of the Ultimate people were married -to each other - so they sort of count as one. Except they also had Murphy the dog with them, so he should probably count, too. Another Ultimate dude was Ed from my Winter League team a few years back, which at Ultimate he blames his lack of speed on being more of a long-distance runner than a sprinter but at races he just blames it on being slow, which he is. At least he doesn't try to blame it on Ultimate.

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