ORN: 2 mile Race: 14:59
10K Race: 50:38 (8:10/mile)
The annual Hog Jog yesterday was everything it always is...a fun gathering in the small town of Flora, Indiana. It's a summer fixture in our local running calendar and is very well attended.
The race has two events, a 2 mile run at 7:30 and the long-standing 10K at 8:15. I emailed the RD ahead of time and he said since I signed up for the 10K it was fine if I ran the 2 mile and just kept my own time. This was helpful, in that I wanted to do a reality check over both distances. I'll share more later this summer why this check was key. The checkpoints, though were 15:02 for 2 miles and 51:09 for 10K.
In the starting grid for the 2 mile race, I had a wonderful surprise. A friend of many years, with whom I worked closely in a previous job, was in the grid. It was terrific to see Stan...neither of us realized the other was running. As both of us are engineers, we each do numbers instinctively. Wanting to run together, Stan asked first: "What time are you shooting for?" Turned out my 15 minute target was his as well and we were both happy to run together.
And run together we did. The 7:30 pace felt quick...I seldom run that quickly, much less for 2 full miles. But the target was the target and I do numbers and I was running with Stan who also does numbers and....well, you get it...we kept going side by side.
The race went fine...shoot, 2 miles doesn't take long. We ran together and hit the finish line at 14:59. Target time achieved. And, what was funny, Stan won a medal for winning his age group. Funny, in that we are in the same age group. He said later he'd split the medal with me!!
Since Stan was nursing a problematic IT Band, he opted out of the 10K race. But we walked and cooled off between races, enjoying the conversation. I switched to a dry shirt, put the timing chip on my left shoe (note: why always the left shoe? Do you have a favorite foot to put your chip on? Mine is always left...but why?) wished Stan well and headed for the 10K grid. There, I saw a couple of other friends (this is a local race, mind you) and then the gun went off.
A friend of mine described this race course as "one big country block plus some" meaning it was basically a one-mile square...and she's right. I needed to hold an 8:14 pace to hit my target. Miles 1 and 2 were each at 8:03. Like the 2 mile race, this is unusual territory for me. Mile 3 was 8:17, a bit more realistic. We turned the corner of the block, ran downwind of an eponymous hog farm and pivoted through downtown Bringhurst, Indiana. Mile 4 was 8:18, followed by mile 5 at 8:15 but, by then, we were back in Flora. We made the loop past the grain elevator, turned left and headed home. Mile 6 was better at 8:07 and then the sprint to the end. I hit the mat at 50:38. Not only beating my target by 31 seconds but setting a new current-era PR by 12 seconds for 10K.
A pleasant surprise at the finish was Stan and his wife Beth waiting for me. They stuck around for an hour just to talk some more...what a friend!! We went for a nice walk as I cooled off and launched into more substantive conversation. How cool is that??
We ambled back to their car and I bid these good friends good bye. I then walked over to pick up the promised free pork burger served up to all runners. Fresh, hot and man was it delicious!
I then wandered over to the posted results and discovered I had placed second in my age group out of the ten of us in the 55-59 year old division. So, I stuck around a while longer and got this award. Don't you love the pig head?? It's a great momento!!
So, the summer goes on. Two checkpoints clicked...more to come. Stay tuned.
And do persevere.