"Don't do that!" I admonish myself as I scrape my knee on a big wooden stake, part of the construction project in our front yard, while fetching in the newspaper early this morning. The injury hurts but is superficial enough not to interfere with the "Turkey Burnoff" 10 mile jog. I arrive early at Seneca Creek State Park and take photos of and visit with various MCRRC officials and associates, including Don Libes, so helpful at the JFK 50 miler last weekend. Race Director Sethiya Renwick is busily keeping things under control, so I chat with announcer Lyman Jordan and thank him in person for the mile markers along Rock Creek Trail and Beach Drive that he painted many years ago. Christina Caravoulias arrives and introduces me to Beth Starr, widow of much-missed Jim Starr . Beth is a volunteer at today's race; she tells us quietly and cheerfully about how alive Jim remains in her thoughts daily.
Then it's time to race. Christina has scolded me for coming out to run so soon after the JFK but nonetheless she sets off at a brisk ~10:30 min/mi for the first two miles as I follow along behind her and threaten to hitch a ride by clinging to her long braid. Then the reality of the hills and distance set in, so we begin to take walk breaks and slow to ~12:30 pace. As her training plan dictates Chris punches out at the five mile point, but since I'm still feeling fresh I round the marker and start another five. The blister on my left foot is essentially healed already but I do feel soreness on the sole of that foot between miles 6 and 9. Mike Broderick's proverb energizes me: "If the bone ain't showin', then keep on goin'!" I average ~10 min/mi in the second half of the race and manage to run almost the entire way, quite an anomaly compared to my usual walk-jog habit. Maybe the JFK was a good training run for me?