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2012 Running of the Bulls 8k

Bull City Running, an awesome running store that puts on great events like Uwharrie Mountain Runs, put on this event.  Running of the Bulls 8k is one of the many USATF state championships littered across the state.  So I ran in the event because of the first statement and despite the second one.

I did this event last year and was left feeling ‘meh’ about my 32:18  time.  I know I’m capable of faster, even on this hilly course. Then I was injured after and lost run fitness.  This year, I conveniently got my injury and fitness loss out of the way ahead of time. I did get in more yoga classes than usual during those down weeks.

A 32:18 would have been an amazing result this year.  I won’t bore you with the numbers of weeks at really low to nonexistent mileage, but I managed to string together almost 3×25 mile weeks before the 8k.  Like I said,  32:18 would be a surprising performance.  To spare you the suspense, I ran a 33:07, which is about what I expected.

Judging from my position in the field, I didn’t pace terribly.  My opening 6:2x miles positioned me in a gap behind the cadre of fasties, I passed a couple folks in the hilly middle section even at 6:3x pace, then finished a little faster on the final downhill mile while a couple ladies blazed by me.  I hit the final loop around the ballpark practically within spitting distance (assuming I could spit like a guy, which I can’t) of a woman who I couldn’t tell if she was masters or not.  I tried to close, but even at great fitness, I have terrible closing speed, and her husband cued her in to my presence around the last corner.  Oh well.  Turns out she was 39.

What I didn’t expect was that to be good enough for 1st female master after Joan Mabe got bumped up to top 5 overall.  A hundred dollahz!  Oh yeah.  Check’s in the mail.

In the post hoc analysis, it’s clear my competitive fire needs some work.  Fitness probably needs to precede race confidence and willingness to hurt.  It will come.

I’m glad I did the race.  Not because of the money.  I liked seeing friends that I  haven’t seen in a while– friends that ran away into the distance up the first hill, a friend that I helped pace after he hadn’t raced in years, and friends that were there just to support other people.  It’s always a kick to have BCR owners Jason and Kim cheering me and other teammates on, and get emphatic running form tips from John at later stages of the race.  Being part of the community is the ice cream sundae, a medal and some cash is the cherry on top.  A sundae is still a delicious treat without the cherry.

Here’s a link to results if you’re interested.

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