Cross Country 10K - Very Challanging

by Kimp 7. December 2009 04:26
I ran a cross country 10K (6.2 miles).
It was listed as a very challenging 10K.
I figured that meant there were a few steep grades in it.
The course was all unpacked sand and one of the up hill grades was 2 miles long.
It had poured down rain for 2 days straight prior to the race. Race day started in a light rain, then after that stopped it was just plain freaking cold.
The course also had a lot of puddles and some heavily washed out areas with drop offs that were several feet deep.
One of the pictures is a group of Army men in uniform that I ran with. I am in that picture but you probably can't see me because I was way in the back. These are all young special operations people attending a course on special ops radio communication. I ran with them because they were running at a pace that I could keep up with and since I am an old guy, they kind of look after me.
Running with them is like running with a bunch of 3rd graders. Since they had their army boots on they stepped hard in every single puddle to create a big splash and would laugh as everyone around them got wet. That wasn't very funny to me in my running shoes and shorts but I played along like it was anyway. After a short while it didn't bother me. I did get to laugh pretty hard though when the man directly in front of me jumped very hard with both feet into a puddle and it turned out to be pretty deep. He sank all of the way to his waist. Amazingly it didn't slow him down much, he just keep running right out of the puddle. All he said was "Whew Wee that was cold".
Since we were running in a pack, we couldn't see the course ahead and I learned pretty quick to watch for the hand signals. If the guy in front of you put his right hand up that meant there was an obstacle ahead (usually a big hole), and you needed to go right. The farther the hand to the right, the more you needed to move over. Then you would follow with your own hand signal to let the person behind you know which way to go. 
They also had a person calling cadence so it was kind of entertaining to run with them. In Navy boot camp I was the 2nd platoon leader, so I used to call cadence. I think the only reason I got that job, was because I have a loud voice, and a little bit of rhythm. I ran up to the cadence caller and asked if I could call cadence for a short while. He said sure.
Here was my first one. "We are in a boat with a bunch of marines." "Gonna drop them at the shore then head back out to sea." "Sound off" "1,2" "Sound off" "3,4" "Sound off" "1,2,3,4 " "1,2"  "3,4". I thought that would be OK because I thought they were all army dudes. Turns out this school has some other branches in it too and the man in charge was a Marine. He didn't appear to like that cadence for some reason. So I figured that I'd just take my rightful place in the back of the pack again.
All in all, it was a good feeling to finish. It took me an hour and 6 minutes, which is slow for a road course, but respectable for this course. I ran the whole way too, which was my goal. My legs never hurt after running. Maybe a little discomfort but not what I would call pain. After this run my legs hurt for 4 days. They hurt everywhere. I had to be using muscles that I didn't know existed. The nice thing though is that there wasn't any joint pain since it was all sand.



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