Last weekend marked the fourth installment of the 2012 Striders Winter Running Circuit in Ogden. The course is essentially run on the first part of the Ogden Marathon route, so it's a nice preview for those who are gearing up for the marathon in May. For me it was a nice step in my training progression of doing some longer runs at a good effort in preparation for the triathlon season. I love training in the Ogden Valley, and what better way to kick off a beautiful spring morning than doing a little run with the spectacular view of a snow-capped Mt. Ogden in the distance!
Rather than writing a complete recap of how the day unfolded, I'm simply going to include a list of highlights (and challenges) from the day. Here they are, in somewhat chronological order:
---Doing a local race = a relatively normal morning! Wake up, eat, walk dogs, drive to Red Moose Lodge.
---The bus ride up to the start line: who doesn't enjoy a good ride in a cheese wagon full of runners?!
---Running in my new Pearl Izumi Streak II shoes...happy happy feet!
---Experiencing a shoelace malfunction (read: it came untied) around Mile 2.
---Cursing myself for not having put lock laces in my new shoes.
---Despite wearing gloves, having fingers so frozen that I could not fix the shoelace problem until Mile 3.
---Enjoying the crisp spring morning sunshine, the mountain panorama...and the inevitable country morning aroma of skunk wafting through the air.
---Running past my training partner's house and thinking of all the good bike rides we'll do in the valley this summer.
---Playing my favorite running game of "Go Fish" and working hard to reel people in.
---Duking it out for 3rd place over the last mile of the race.
---Setting a new half-marathon PR in spite of the time spent fiddling with my shoelace.
---Hot chocolate and coffee at the finish line!
---Even better...a hot breakfast inside the Red Moose Lodge!!
---Bumping into some fellow "Ben Lomond Morning Swimmers" in the food line...it's always funny to see people out of context.
---Chatting with my new friend Phaedra (who rocked the Masters division!).
---Visiting with some of the old Salt Lake crew: Demetrio, Carol, Bill, Gene, and Brandon. Always a treat to see you guys!
---Earning $50 for my efforts...I think it's the first time I've ever won money at a running race!
---Sharing 3rd place honors with Albert. We're rich! Or at least we can buy a new pair of shoes.
---Leapfrogging into first place in the overall cumulative series. Four down, one to go!
Thanks to all of my sponsors, on this day particularly to Pearl Izumi for the great shoes and running apparel, to Powerbar for fueling me to a good time, and to Recovery Pump for the pre- and post-race squeeze. A big thank you to my friends and family for continuing to humor me in my athletic undertakings, and to my fellow runners for inspiring me to dig deep and aim high. Happy running!