Friday, September 16, 2011

The Road to DuaWorlds Mini Series: Part 3

We meet again!

I have for your enjoyment the 3rd of 4 installments of the mini series - The Road to DuaWorlds! I've had a lot of fun producing these entries and hope you all enjoy them as well! Without further adieu..

The Road to DuaWorlds, Part 3

This past week I started off with a Labor Day race in San Pedro called Conquer the Bridge 3. It was a 5.3 mile out-and-back race over the Vincent-Thomas Bridge. For those who are unaware of this bridge, the center point is much higher than either ends, making it a very interesting location at which to hold a race!

Considering I had raced a fast 3-miler two days prior, I wasn’t looking to necessarily blitz this run, but rather see what I could do on tired legs. During warm-up I recognized a guy whom I had raced against earlier this summer. In our previous race, I was able to out-sprint Juan and he was not happy about it. Based on the looks he was giving me during warm-up, he clearly wanted to return the favor. Coincidentally enough, he was also last year’s champion and the course record holder for this race!

The gun went off and we found each other at the front in no time. Going up and over the bridge on the way out, every time I attempted to run on his shoulder, he proceeded to slowly veer in my direction, eventually pinning me up against the cones or the side of the bridge. I would then have to stutter step and bounce around him to his other side. Sure enough, he would veer in that direction! After experiencing this three or four times I said to him, “Juan, you’re swerving, pal!” He responded with a grunt and continued on with a little less swerving.

We reached the turn-around point and headed back up and over the bridge. At this point, I didn’t want him to think that I was a one-dimensional, “sit and kick” runner, based on our last encounter. At about 200 meters from the tallest point of the bridge, I put-on an enormous surge and he covered NONE of it. It was so big in fact that I quickly thought I may have bitten off more than I could chew! The top couldn’t come fast enough but once I got there, I glanced back and saw that I had opened up a 50 meter lead. I experienced a brief sigh of relief as I hit the downward section of the bridge. From there the race was in the bag and I wound up crossing the line in 28:09, a 30 second margin of victory over the swerving Juan. As if this victory wasn’t sweet enough, I also broke Juan’s course record by 13 seconds! This race was yet another confidence building, run-sharpening feat that is setting me up nicely for DuaWorlds.

After this run I had a solid week of training and followed it up with a 10k race in Studio City on Sunday. I didn’t know what to expect for this race as far as competition or the course was concerned. When I got my hands on a map on race morning, I was amazed! This course was like a pinball machine – riddled with 180 degree turns! I stuck with my plan to race nonetheless. The gun went off and I was immediately alone, trying to keep pace with the Mini Cooper leading us out. The victory was in the bag but I wasn’t here for the victory. I didn’t care about winning this race; I cared about the workout and using this race as a sharpening tool for DuaWorlds. With that, I pressed on as if someone was hot on my heels. I lost count but I believe there were 8 or 10, 180 degree turns which took the wind out of my sail every time. I crossed the line 33-mid, pleased with the solo-effort I put forth, despite a slower than normal time. A race official approached me after the race and mentioned that in respect to “normal” 10k’s, this race was about 3 minutes longer due to the myriad turn-around’s. Good news!

I have one more race – a 10k in Huntington Beach – the day before I head to Spain. This one is supposed to be fast and full of competition! It will be a great send off!

There was a piece written about my win at the Conquer the Bridge 3 run in the Daily Breeze. It's equipped with a few pics as well. If you're interested, check out the Daily Breeze article here. The FINAL CHAPTER of this riveting mini series will be posted Saturday night, maybe Sunday morning! I know I know, you're on the edge of your seat.. Only a few days away!

Thank you all for checking in. Talk soon!


1 comment:

  1. As for Juan swerving into you Henry, I'm sure you could chalk it up to Newton's Universal Law of Gravitation otherwise known as gravitational attraction.