My ‘Summer’ on the Cape

Sometime around 10:30am on Monday, August 15 I was on a great run on the outskirts of Boston. My partner for the morning was Jeff Caron, and he had taken me to one of the parks he regularly trains in. It consists of a network of fire roads and single-track trails that weave around reservoirs and through forest land. It was pouring rain, we were covered in mud, and I suddenly had a moment of realization that “This is my life!” There are definitely some distinct alternatives, such as spending my Monday morning sitting at cubicle or in a classroom, watching the clock tick as I wait for the moment when I can finally escape to my run. But instead, I was splashing through puddles on the other side of the country from where I live, at the tail end of a great weekend and with a new friend.

My trip to Massachusetts for the Falmouth Road Race reinforced everything I love about being able to compete at the elite level.  The weekend blended the ability to see a new part of the country, meet new runners, go on some great runs, and of course, the best part, to take advantage of a competitive race opportunity.

I spent my first two nights back east in Lexington with Jeff, who was extremely welcoming. One of the things I love about the East Coast is all the revolutionary war history and I was thrilled to spend my first day in Massachusetts in the town where the first shots were fired, running along the Battle Road Trail.

Battle Road Trail

Frances Koons  joined me at Jeff’s the second evening and then together we set off for the Cape on Saturday morning. I had a great time getting to know Frances and exploring Falmouth with her.

The race itself was also a positive experience. Seven miles is the longest I’ve ever raced, so I was fairly tentative early, which worked out well since a lot of women went out fast and I had people to focus on picking off in the late stages. The best part of the event was the atmosphere along the course due to all the spectators. It seemed like the further into the race we ran, the denser the crowd on either side of the course became. The energy from all the cheering was a huge boost in the final miles. Even as I dug deep to hold off surges or even just hang on, I was still able to enjoy the environment around me and appreciate the opportunity to run in a beautiful setting and against very good competition.

The race proved to be a great physical and mental stimulus for me. I came down from my time at altitude feeling tired and nervous about how I would perform at Falmouth. After allowing myself some time to recover and then having a great race I am now more excited than ever about what lies ahead this fall. I’ve always wanted to run at the US Road 5k Championships but this is the first year the timing has worked out for me.  I’m already looking forward to my trip to Providence and the training that awaits between now and then.

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About kimconley

Professional runner and Cross Country and track coach at UC Davis.

Posted on August 22, 2011, in Blogs. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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