The Harmony Run 5K/10K was the fourth race in the 2013 Gold Country Grand Prix, hosted by the Sierra Trail Blazers Running Club. In 2010-2011, the course was 8K, the start/finish mere blocks from my house. 2013 saw the event return to the traditional 5K/10K offering, and the course was laid out on the grounds of Nevada Union High School, utilizing the track and cross country trails.
I used my voucher for a free entry to a Grand Prix race. While I had been hoping to enter the 8K to have a run at my PR (8K's are hard to find!), the 10K course followed the usual trails around NU High School, but in the opposite direction than other Grand Prix races. I entered with hopes of setting a new 10K PR, but injury prevented me from giving the race my full effort.
As it was my first Grand Prix event of the year, I spent the morning catching up with the local elites, fellow runners and my age group competition. Familiar faces abounded as I did lunges to warm up and stretch out my groin, which was still suffering from the Zombie Run. I told Twirly that I should take about an hour to complete the course, hoping to negative split.
The best intentions, etc...
A rush of race morning registration delayed the race start for about ten minutes, and then we were off. I fell into a steady gait, trying to stay symmetrical and tall as we wound around the school, gaining elevation. The course was a mix of pavement, asphalt, single track and gravel, with three mellow climbs for about 250 feet of elevation gain over the 5K loop.
I held my position amongst the runners for the first loop, gaining on some, passed by others. The clock-wise direction of the course really smoothed out the climbs, and I felt stronger than I had in weeks. Because of the MAF TWT diet, I was trying to keep my heart rate below 150, which was difficult because I wanted to run the hills. Twirly joined me on her bike as I ran by the stadium, completing the first lap in about 25 minutes. As the 5K runners peeled off onto the track to finish, I continued on, breaking into a walk to drink some water from Twirlys bike bottle. The 10K runners in front of me disappeared, and I began to wonder if I was going to be DFL.
I walked the inclines on the second lap, and actually caught up to a man who had been run/walking in front of me. We chatted for a couple of miles, talking about my injury, and his injury (broken ribs in January). He was a Californian living in Boston, and was in town for a wedding. His aunt had signed him up for the 10K, and he had not been training. With a half mile to go, he left me in the dust.
I kept a slow slog going as I entered the track, and crossed the line in 60:32 for 24th place. I guess a personal worst was to be expected given the state of my hip, regardless, I found it difficult to find satisfaction in my performance. I realized my injury was going to derail my training more than I had hoped, and resigned myself to finding an alternative source of exercise to let my body heal.