Saturday, June 30, 2018

2018 Night Fury #2 5K Race Recap - Mesa, AZ

Official Time: 24:55
Placement: 20th overall, 3rd in the 45 - 49 age division
Results:  Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: 100 degrees, slight wind from west, night race
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: Inaugural Year

Mile TimeComments
17:48Briefly blocked by lots of runners. But off to a solid start.
28:10The heat is getting to me
38:23Probably had more to give but was starting to get some heat stroke / nausea
3.080:28Tried to push it to the end.
Total Miles: 3.08 - 24:50

103 Degrees 45 minutes before race start


Well there wasn't a whole lot on the racing calendar for this weekend.  I searched high and low for a race and the only one that was close by was the Night Fury 5K -- a Friday night race. 

The race started at 8 PM and in Phoenix, that is still pretty warm.  Granted, by 8, the sun has set and the temperature is less intense but it is still hot.

I haven't run before in 100+ degree weather.  I've run in some pretty hot races, but this was a new "high" for me.

So it was with some trepidation, apprehension, and a little regret that I drove the 2 miles or so to the starting line and got ready to race on a hot Friday night.

The Race

I rolled in around 7:15, got my bib and a collector pin.  In lieu of a shirt they give you a pin and a pretty sweet custom designed finisher's medal.  I would've liked a shirt (I don't know why, I have a ton of them) but they were offering some for sale.

The race started a few minutes early, which I was glad for.  I had done a very limited warm-up as even standing around resulting in me working up a sweat.

View of the first mile

The course is run along the Mesa / Tempe bike trail.  It is pancake flat and a asphalt / concrete trail.  I wore my Saucony Fastwitches and so I felt almost every foot step along this way.

Initially I was hemmed in at the start.  With about 200 runners cramming their way to the starting line, it was slow going for the first couple of hundred yards.  I wished the race director had encouraged slower runners to line up in the back.  So I had to spend some energy weaving around much slower folks.  It probably slowed me up a bit but not a big deal.

The race director encourage people to take it easy.  With it being a 100 degrees, there was plenty of opportunity to suffer from dehydration or heat stroke.  I backed off quite a bit for the first half mile to see how the heat would affect me.

I had worked my way up quite well in the first half mile and I began to look at my competition.  I saw some folks my age as they made the turn around at roughly the .6 of a mile distance.  I felt I was in pretty good shape to fall somewhere in the top 3 for my age.

The race director had said we'd run a half mile out, turn around and come back to the starting line for the first mile.  I was worried the course was going to measure long when I came back to the starting line with about 1.20 miles under my belt.  I definitely hate when course go long.  I'll take .03 plus or minus on the distance but any more than that....  no bueno.

I was passing quite a few people on mile 2.  I was hurting though and I could feel the heat weighing on me.  Was I overdoing it?  Was I going to pass out?  It was warm and as I passed the first water stop I grabbed some water and tossed it over my head.  I don't think I've ever used a water stop in a 5K before.

At this point it was dark and I was running as quickly as I could.  It was too dark to look at my Garmin and I didn't want to fool around with the light on it.  Occasionally I'd take a peak at it as the course was illuminated by the park lights.  I was a little sad when I saw that I hit an 8:10 mile.  I would've liked to have about 15 seconds less.

I was still passing a fair amount of people.  I think there were some folks who had started fast and let the heat get the best of them.  I was tailing a guy who looked to be in my age division and I made it a point to try and pass him.  However, every time I stepped on the gas he was able to match me and when I faded he put some distance on me.

Mile 3 no one was behind me and I was still tailing my competition.  I was starting to get some symptoms of pre-heat stroke and I was starting to get worried.  I dialed it back a little in hopes that I could turn on the jets in the final quarter mile.

I suspected the course was going to run long but how long... I wasn't sure.

We were running by the freeway and ran under the 101.  I had been there before a month ago, so this was somewhat familiar territory to me.  I train on the western section of the trail, but I rarely run that stretch.

I was crestfallen when I another guy my age flew by me.  I was beginning to have doubts that I'd place in my age group.

The finish line came into view and I picked up the pace.  Unfortunately so did the two middle-aged guys in front of me.  I wasn't going to catch them....

Finisher's medal, race pin and age group award


I collected a super cool and heavy-duty medal when I crossed the finish line.  The two middle-aged guys in front of me finished well ahead of me.  I suspected I would not be in the age group ring this race.  I was tempted to go but I wound up socializing with fellow runners.

I didn't even look at my time (it wasn't until this morning that I looked at it).  I sipped on some Gatorade and waited for my stomach to settle down.  I wished I had brought my camera and taken pictures of the folks finishing but it was probably a quarter mile walk back to the car.

Awards took a while and I was tickled pink to get third in my age division.  It's been a while since I've gotten one.  While the race was smallish, there were some quick runners there.

They had water and popsicles  and I think some Gatorade.  The race was about $25 so it was on a budget.  I had brought my own cool drink so that helped.  I felt like I had totally gotten my money's worth though -- it was professionally run, timed, and orchestrated.  They also had a drawing for various prizes (including entries into the next race) but alas, I didn't win.

They hold a lot of races on this course.  Would I run it again?  Sure, why not.  The medal was super cool and there was a good crowd there.  I had way more fun than I thought I would plus it was nice to get an age group award.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

This Week in Running 5/29 - 6/24

Miles to Date: 929.5

I haven't written much about just plain old ordinary training of late.  Since moving to Arizona, I have transitioned into a morning runner.  There's just no two ways around it.  You have to be a morning running to survive Arizona's summers.

In Utah, I could get by with waiting until 8 PM for my nightly runs.  Maybe once a year I'd wake up and go early in the morning.

But here, I am up by 5:30 AM at the latest.  I am usually out the door 15 minutes later.  The first mile is usually the hardest as I start to work out the kinks.  Usually after half a mile I can start to run at a fairly normal, non-gimpy pace.

I have been logging around 30 - 45 miles per week on the Tempe Town Lake Trail.  It takes about a mile to get there but it isn't too bad of a trail.  It is flat, has some drinking fountains and there are a bathroom or two.  It isn't my favorite place to run of all times, but it works and there are usually a few other runners or dog walkers out there in the wee hours.

I have been using the weekend 5K races as my official speed work outs.  On some days I'll find a small hill to charge up a dozen times.  The hill is more of a small boat ramp and takes about 10 seconds to ascend.  It is enough to qualify for "work" but isn't terribly demanding.

My new job also has a gym in it.  So in addition to running 4 - 8 miles in the morning, after work I'll do another short workout.  It is more weight-based but I do peddle on a bike for 15 - 20 minutes.  By the time I make it home, I am exhausted and tend to sleep pretty well.

Global Running Day

June 6th, I believe was Global Running Day.  It isn't too different from any other day for me, but it is one I think to raise awareness for running.  That day I decided to take a picture of the various stops along the way on a typical run.

The first picture is the first picture in this post.  I have reached the Tempe Town Lake trail and the sun is quickly rising behind me.  It is about 5:30 in the morning and probably in the upper 70's.  It will quickly heat up.

I am looking to the west.  You can see Papago Park in the distance and everything is pretty peaceful at this point.  I am just over a mile on my run at this point.

Here is the bike path that leads to the Tempe Town Lake Trail.  In a little bit the trail will fork. I can continue on the concrete or go down to the shore onto packed dirt.  I always go to the packed dirt section.

Today I spotted some coyotes.  If you look closely you'll see them.

I am another mile down the trail at this point.  I love this section.   This is really what the Tempe Town Trail is all about.

I've reached the 2.5 mile mark (or thereabouts).  There are a bunch of bridges here. Some for pedestrians, some for cars and one for a train.

Here is the pedestrian bridge. I love running across this and it is fairly scenic.  I am about 3.5 miles into my run now.

This is my favorite part of the run.  This little stretch is on the north side of the trail, having crossed at the bridge.  There are a lot of wild brush here and the smell is intoxicating.  There is a slight incline here but I hardly notice it.  I am about 4 miles in at this point.

I have since turned around and making my way back "home".  Near those buildings is a set of restrooms and drinking fountains (actually there are several drinking fountains in this area).

As you can see, it is much warmer now.

About a mile away from home.  Have to run by the Tempe Mall and McClintock Road.  It is still fairly peaceful at this hour, but in a little bit it'll be flooded with cars.

Final push home.  This area smells like tires and auto shops.  If I am lucky I can catch the bread delivery trucks on their way out and get a whiff of fresh bread, but that tends to be the exception rather than the rule.

Post Lamoille Canyon Half

It was awesome to get back to Salt Lake City for the weekend.  I ran into a bunch of people on the bike trail during a shake out run that I didn't expect to see.  It was so much greener and cooler.

The Lamoille Canyon Half is a massive downhill race -- about 3000 feet decline.  And I paid for it all last week.  I was super gimpy down the steps at work -- almost as if I had run a full marathon.  My legs were beat up feeling as well.  So 90% of my miles last week were junk miles.  

On the plus side, I don't think I wound up injured.  Last year, my troublesome knee basically shouted, "I've had enough" when I finished and I was soon in the PT office.  It pretty much killed my fall season.

It was awesome seeing everyone at the race and I truly miss being in the Salt Lake running scene.

Upcoming Races

06/29: Night Fury #2 5K - Mesa, AZ (Confirmed)
07/04: Arizona Road Racers Series #3 - 4 Miles - Peoria, AZ (Confirmed)
07/07: Arizona Sunrise Race Series 5K #4 - Phoenix Area, AZ (Confirmed)
07/14: Farmington Festival 10K - Farmington, UT (Confirmed)
07/21: Arizona Sunrise Race Series 5K #5 - Phoenix Area, AZ (Confirmed)
08/04: Arizona Sunrise Race Series 5K #6 - Phoenix Area, AZ (Confirmed)
08/18: Arizona Sunrise Race Series 5K #7 - Phoenix Area, AZ (Confirmed)
11/11: 2018 Las Vegas Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)

Saturday, June 23, 2018

2018 Arizona Sunrise Race Series 5K #3 - Freestone Park - Gilbert, AZ

Official Time: 25:09
Placement: 7th in the 45 - 49 age group, 56th overall, 42nd male out of 412
Results:  Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: 84 and sunny. No wind.
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: Inaugural Year

Mile TimeComments
17:56Hemmed in at the start, but felt good.
27:58Trapped at times at the turn around but still running well
38:25Gassed at this point.
Total Miles: 3.12 - 25:08


This morning I did race number 3 in the Arizona Sunrise Series.  Before moving here, I signed up for the entire 7 race series for a flat fee.  Each race includes a t-shirt, part of a medal, and a full supported 5K race.  Each race is held at a different location -- 2 weeks apart.  So I figured it would be a great way to introduce me to the Phoenix area.

This 5K race was held at Freestone Park in Gilbert.  I've raced here twice so far (here and here) and each time the course is different from the last time I've run it.  Some parts are exactly the same but each route has been different. 

It is a really nice park and I actually enjoy the course.  It does have a few hills but overall I feel like it is a good course for a 5K.

The Race

I rolled in at 5:45 AM for the 6:30 race start.  The parking lot was swimming with cars and people, but I was still fairly early and managed to snag a good spot.  Check-in / bib pickup was super easy.  I got my shirt and bib and headed to the bathrooms.

My warm-up was pretty limited.  It was already really warm so I kept it to some light drills and a very short shake-out run.  I felt a little sluggish, but I knew once the gun went off that my legs would snap to attention.

The race started precisely at 6:30 and we started running along the warning track of the baseball field.  It was crowded and clearly some folks didn't understand the unwritten rule of lining up for their pace.  I wound up passing at least a 100 people within the first half mile.  It was congested but I managed to get a lane to myself.

Within a third of a mile or so we were dumped on to a canal path (after speeding down a mini mogul).  This is another warning track lined with crushed dirt.  I had worn my speed Saucony shoes that are super weight.  I normally wear my Brooks Adrenalines but today I felt speedy with the slipper like light-weight shoes that I only break out for 5Ks.

I was still passing people and soon we were got off the dirt canal trail and were dumped onto the street.  I am pretty sure we weren't supposed to run in the bike lane along the main drag and were supposed to run on the sidewalk.  But there were no markings or volunteers there and I was more or less following the previous runners.

Eventually we looped back into the park and did a circuitous route before hitting a turn around sign.  My Garmin read about 1.56 miles at that point.  A hair long despite my best efforts at running the tangents.

I did dump a cup of water over my head at this point.  I was hot and the race director had planned accordingly.  There were a whopping 5 water stations on this course.

I was hurting after the turn around and also hemmed in.  I am pretty much a middle-of-the-pack runner these days so running on a standard sidewalk was challenging.  I had folks coming at me and was nestled in the back of another group.  It took a bit of patience and a sudden burst of speed to work my way around them.  I probably lost a few seconds here.

The last mile was a grind.  Clearly, I've got enough gas to go 2 miles at 5K pace but that last mile is always the worst.

At this point, I was running solo.  I had a few people I was working at tracking down but for the most part, no one was behind me.  I could feel myself getting hazy as I made my way back along the canal trail.  Why did it have to be so hot?

I kept looking for the finish line, hoping it would be magically closer than I thought it was.  I passed a few more people on my way in and crossed a hair over 25 minutes. 


I felt like my time was going to be a lot faster than it was.  I had done sub 8 minute miles for the first two miles.  I really faded at the end and I think part of it was the heat. I just didn't have the speed endurance to hold the 8 minute mile.

I quickly recovered and grabbed some Gatorade and a banana.  Food offerings were pretty standard: bagels, bananas, sports drink and granola bars.

Part of the series is that for each of the 5Ks you get a letter for your Arizona medal.  This week's was "I", which I have added above.

I wound up socializing for a bit before heading out.  I finished a lot better in the overall standings than I thought I would, but a disappointing 7th in my age group.

I really felt like I had run well here. Unfortunately my time didn't really reflect much improvement.  I lost a bit of time being hemmed in and the course measured up a smidge long, so I am still hovering in the low 25 minutes for a 5K -- a far cry from the 20:30's I used to run regularly.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

2018 Lamoille Canyon Half Marathon Race Canyon - Lamoille, NV

Official Time: 1:50:46
Placement: 3rd in age group, 19th overall
Results:  Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: upper 40's, slight wind from north, sunny and warm at the end
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: [2017] [2016]

Mile TimeComments
19:20First section of the race is uphill and it hurts!
28:43Cruising downhill
38:16Smashing the downhill
47:59Easy to run this fast with 368 feet downhill
78:47A little bit of uphill killed my legs here
87:56Back to downhill running
118:51Mostly a downhill mile but some uphill that cost me some time
139:16Some rolling hills here. Clawing my way to the finish
13.090:48Thank goodness I was done
Total Miles: 13:09 1:50:46


I live in Tempe Arizona now.  One of the difficult parts of adjusting to a new life here is missing out on some of my favorite races.  The Lamoille Canyon Half Marathon is indeed one of my favorites.

The canyon is located about 25 minutes south of Elko, NV and I have so many great memories hiking and visiting many of the trails there.  It is popular enough for the locals but not too many people outside of the area know about it.

I was getting (super) homesick and I really wanted to go home for a visit.  I decided that I'd couple my visit of returning to Salt Lake with a little bit of a road trip and a race.  I snagged a pretty good deal on air fare and the rest just sort of came together.

I arrived at midnight in Salt Lake on Thursday, slept a few hours and then hit the road mid Friday morning.  I was a little bleery-eyed but it was all worth it.

The Race

I rolled into Elko, NV -- about 3.5 hours west of Salt Lake around 3:00 o'clock.  I had broken up the trip by stopping into West Wendover Nevada for lunch and a little bit of gambling (of course).

The packet pick up was at Bristlecone Bicycle shop.  It was good to see Anne, the race director.  I've know her a while and have done many of her races that she holds in the Elko area.

Shari and I stayed at the Red Lion hotel.  It's a good hotel and they usually give us a break on the food.  I didn't sleep particularly well.  I am not sure.  I think I was a little over stimulated from gambling and the room seemed hot.  Maybe I got about 4 hours of sleep.

I woke up at 4:10, packed up and hit the road by 4:45.  I arrived at 5:15 for a 5:30 bus, which was packed.

The drive to the top of the canyon -- about 13 miles away -- took about 20 minutes.  Experience had taught me to dress warm for the start.  You are just shy of 9000 feet and while the valley might be in the upper 40's, the top of the canyon is going to be a bit cooler.

I killed about an hour up there socializing with friends both new and old.  I also managed to snag a foil sheet from a marathoner who had started just shortly after we arrived so I could keep my legs warm.  I had packed lightly for the trip and while my core was warm, my legs weren't.

The race started promptly at 7:00 am.  The first third of a mile just sucks.  To make the course 13.1 miles, we have to start about a third of a mile from the top, run up to the top, circle around the bathroom and then head down.

I don't warm up much before a half marathon, but trying to run fast, uphill, not warmed up and at nearly 9000 feet of elevation is just plain cruel.  It is like trying to breathe out of a straw.

Luckily it is short lived and I told myself not to panic.  I'd be making up the lost time after the turn around.

First part of the race is a climb.

It took a bit to get my wheels working again but the first 2 miles are fairly gentle of a decline. It was nice to take in the cool mountain air and there is a gentle stream rolling next to you.  I just wish I had had time (and energy) to take in a hike and not really race a half marathon -- but I digress.

About 3 miles in, I hit my groove.  I knew the course so I knew when the race was going to get tough(er). In the past I've really died in the final 5K when you more or less have to power yourself to the finish line.  However, the first 10 miles are mostly downhill so you can pretty much coast and hope that the hills don't destroy your quads.

I was running with a group of people but as the race progressed I found myself chasing a group.  I did have to use the restroom but I was tailing what looked to be another runner in my age group.  I knew one of the other runners who was in my age group who was clearly faster than me, so I didn't want to take any chances with at least getting an award.  So that guy was my target.

My legs weren't really responding like I had hoped they would.  I did have a fairly high mileage week and I was starting to regret doing a 4 mile shakeout run Friday morning.  Panic started to fill my head.  I had run a 1:49 last year and I didn't want to blow up on this race.

I was carrying my own hydration for this race -- I had brought some Tailwind with me, which I think went well.  The caffeine in it was a much needed boost.  They had water / Gatorade stations every few miles and while it wasn't super warm it was warm enough.  I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt but the first few miles I had wished I had brought some throw away gloves.

It felt like it took a lot more effort than it was while running.  I was definitely turning in some good splits but it seemed like a lot of work.  I suspect high altitude will do that -- and with Tempe being at 900 feet or so, running at 6000 feet was going to seem like work.

There weren't many flowers out yet but the canyon smelled wonderful.  Lamoille has a certain smell -- it is a Juicy Fruit Gum smell that some wild flower or plant gives off.  It isn't there all the time, but certain parts smell like it.  Also the smell of ragweed was in the air and sometimes it was a bit difficult to breath.

I really enjoyed the canyon and it brought  back a ton of memories of all the places I had hiked over the years.  I wondered how many more times I'd get a chance to visit it -- or if this was it.

There are a few uphill sections on the course and it was so hard to change gears.  I began to worry what the final 3 miles would be when there were more rolling hills.

However, the death march didn't really come.  I took the uphills as aggressively as I could and tried to get back into a rhythm when I was done with them.  The Tailwind drink also seemed to help.

I was still running with people and the guy who was I was chasing had dropped off.  So maybe with some luck, I could nab an age group award.

Last stretch before the finish line

The final mile is grueling and you no longer have the ability to coast down a hill.  I was tired and I kept looking at my watch counting down the quarter miles. 

I was pretty happy to see my Garmin report that I had finished in 1:50.  I was hoping to go sub 1:50, but I didn't really get the early speed I was hoping for.

Heading to the finish line.


I was really close to being sick at the end.  I was pretty worn out and I had pushed it at the end.  No one was behind me (for quite some time actually) and I knew I was in for a fairly decent time.  I don't normally get too worked up about downhill races -- I don't really consider them for PR purposes but I wanted to do well.

I grabbed some chocolate milk (actually two of them).  They had a super nice spread of food including a pancake breakfast.  I really wish I was staying another day in Elko as I would've made a meal there, but I had a limited amount of time.

The race directors have a pretty unsophisticated way of putting people into their age brackets (and one that actually works well for a small race).  I could see right away where I finished in the 45 - 49 age group and I had placed 3rd.  Being that I was short on time, they allowed me to pick up my age group winner ribbon and get a photo taken.

I was really bummed I couldn't stick around longer.  I knew a ton of people there and it was such a beautiful day.  My heart ached when I took off.

I am not sure how many more Lamoille Canyon Adventures I have in my lifetime.  I now live many hours away and getting there is semi-expensive.  I am just glad I was able to get there and run it once more.

The race was $60 and I registered pretty late.  The bus ride to the top was in a coach bus with a bathroom.  The finisher medal was unique but hardcore medal collectors may be disappointed.  The shirt was cotton but thoughtfully designed for a Nevada race. The race was well supported and organized.  Definitely a top notch job on post race food.

I hope to make it back to this race in the future.  Each time I go, I feel so fortunate that I can run in this locale and enjoy a unique race.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

2018 Arizona Road Racers Summer Series #2 5K - Freestone Park - Gilbert, AZ

Official Time: 25:13
Placement: 119th out of 347, 85th male out of 176, 7th in age group
Results:  Here
Race WebsiteHere
Weather: low 80's, no wind, sunny
Garmin Dump: Here
Previous Years: Inaugural Year

Mile TimeComments
18:07Lots of turns and not sure what I had today. 
28:16Mostly on dirt -- warning track dirt. Not a lot of bounce. Some climbing here
38:24Pretty much done. Tired.
Total Miles: 3.06 - 25:16


I am not sure exactly why I signed up for this race.  It was kind of "I am not doing anything on Sunday morning, so why not do a 5K"  I sort of had buyer's remorse, but once I got to the race site, I was glad I had signed up for it.

This race is the second in the Arizona Road Racers Summer Series -- I did race #1 two weeks ago at the Tempe Town Lake Trail.  This race was held at Freestone Park in Gilbert.  Faithful readers will recall that I did a 5K about a month ago at this park.  I expected the same course as last time -- but I was for the most part wrong.

The Race

I got to the race about 50 minutes early. I was one of the first there and it was easy getting my bib.  I had registered for the race online, so I saved a few bucks.  There wasn't any t-shirt on this race -- so a flat $25 plus the usual credit card fees got me into the race.

I used the rest room a time or two and did a little bit a warm up.  It was already pretty warm out so I kept my workout to a minimum. 

The race had over 350 runners and they did a fantastic job of making sure people were lined up in the appropriate spots.   Since we were running on sidewalks or fairly narrow trails, it  made sense and the race was chip timed.  I started out with the third wave and I was able to get into my pace fairly quickly and without having to navigate around people who were in the wrong bracket.

The first mile took us out of the park and onto the road briefly.  There was minimal traffic and I didn't feel like I was in the way.  We then jumped onto a running track that was crushed dirt.  It had some uneven ruts in it, but it was easy to navigate.

It was sort of heart breaking to pass by the starting line and know that I still had a good 2.5 miles of pain left.

We then jumped onto a dusty track.  I could see the lead runners flying ahead of me already coming back from their section of out and back.  I wasn't doing too badly but my pace wasn't the greatest.  Also with all the runners on the canal trail, a cloud of red dirt hung in the air.

While I didn't get any "bounce" from running, it was flat and I tried to dig deep along here.

I was hoping to make up some ground on mile 2.  Occasionally I'd get a burst of energy but for the most part my "A" game wasn't there.  I was also sort of confused by the course.  I had figured we'd be running the same one as the previous race I had done here. 

The course was well marked though and there was never a doubt as to where to go.  Plus I was hanging with a variety of runners who were also 8-minute per mile runners.

By the time I hit mile 2 I knew I wasn't going to have a super great race.  I had hopes that things would come together and I'd be able to blast through the final mile, but it just wasn't there.  The pain of the final mile of a 5K is always the toughest and my legs just wouldn't respond and it was just so warm.

The last third of a mile involved a lot of turns, but I was so happy to finish this one.  


I talked to a few other runners and got various reports on how long the course was.  I had a 3.09 and a 3.12.  So I suspect the course was accurate (or I just run the tangents really well).

I spent some time milling about the finish line and took in an apple and some banana slices. They had plenty of snacks -- cookies, bagels, sports drink, fruit and chips.   I didn't have a lot on the agenda for the afternoon so I definitely soaked in the atmosphere.

I am bummed that the t-shirt is extra.  I have a zillion shirts so I really don't need one but I always like one as a memento.

They handed out age group awards efficiently.  Alas, unless I take a few minutes off my times I am not going to be in the running.

My performance was about as expected today.  It was warm (when I left, it was 91) and my legs were worn out from the previous day's run.  None the less, I did a little bit better than expected.  Despite my Garmin reporting a short course, I suspect it was accurate given the number of people who ran more than me.

I liked the course.  It was scenic and the turns made it sort of fun. However, it wasn't terribly fast and there were a few small hills.  My Garmin didn't seem to record them, but overall it was well marked and kind of fun.

I'll continue to do this race series if it fits into my schedule and I feel like doing something.  If I was a contender, the series does have a payoff at the end, but for the rank-and-file runner there is not much there (not even a finisher medal for doing the entire series).  Still, it was fun and nice to socialize with the other runners.