Today was so much better (for me) than yesterday!
I slept more (still not as much as I wanted to, but more), I woke up looking forward to running today's stage, I was well organized, and I felt ready to roll. This was a much better start to the day than yesterday... aka scatterbrain day.
The stage 2 format has a staggered start and I was scheduled to start at 8:32 am, so arriving at the Schmidt house just before 7:30 gave me plenty of time to put my post race stuff in the back yard, talk to other runners, do a very short warmup, watch some of the others start their races, and be ready to go when my time came.
A description of the stage can be found on my blog post from last year, but I'll give a super brief overview here. The 15 km course is an out and back, is quite flat, and has long straight stretches along only three roads. The bulk of the course is on paved roads, with the middle section on a gravel road.
Starting the race, I felt good; I felt happy and excited. My head was in it today, and that was definitely what I needed to happen. If my head's in the game, that's where the focus will be, not over-analyzing the little things that might not feel "quite right" with the body. Whether it was my head or whether my foot was actually significantly better today, I didn't have any foot pain aside from a bit of mild discomfort for a brief couple moments around 10K.
Most of the race was relatively uneventful as far as how I was running (a good thing!). I had a great time out there today, the high fives were flying and the hellos and good jobs were plentiful. It is so nice to be able to see absolutely everyone on this stage! That is definitely a highlight for me.
Since everyone started at different times today, according to their expected finish times or placing from yesterday, the finish is a rapid succession of runners coming down the final stretch. It was a lot of fun to watch everyone coming in and it was interesting to see the actual results being updated and posted as we watched. Since the fastest runners stated at the end, the rankings of today's stage were constantly changing as more people finished.
In the results, Rob (53:41) and Victoria (1:01:03) won for the ultimates again, increasing their leads over second place; they will wear the gold jerseys again tomorrow. The H+P Men's A team won the relay again today, with Adam Hortian running 48:49!
From the race website: Stage 2 Recap and Results
I've never had a finish time so close to other runners at this stage. 5th (Joanne), 6th (Leigh Anne), and 7th (myself) finished with with very close times of 1:09:40, 1:09:46, and 1:09:47. This made me super excited (and perhaps a little hyper... sorry if I was a little on the giddy side, Leigh Anne! I'll be more calm tomorrow, I swear.) to think that perhaps I won't be running all by myself in some of the longer stages, especially the marathon. It would be great to have some company.
One other thing:
I don't recall if I mentioned the dead skunk on yesterday's course, but today has now marked the second day in a row with a dead skunk. If there's another one at Bechtel tomorrow...........
And on that amazingly appetizing note, I will leave you with the usual post-race food photo. :)