Lunch- frisbee. My team won 5-4. Good battle.
PM- Ran the Moonshiner night trail race for the 4th time. I'd won it all 3 previous times but knew I would not today. This race was my first since Western States over 2 years ago. Was pretty worried about my shin. Wife and father ran, too. I really didn't know what to expect- I figured 20 min and top 10 would be amazing but unlikely (there are 300+ runners). Warmed up a few miles, then race time. I figured I'd go hard (first fast miles in 1+ year) and see what happened.
I found myself just behind the Honnettes at the first singletrack at .25 mile and kept a bit of a gap as I like to see the trail in front of me. I was breathing hard and my hands were already tingly, but I thought it might be sustainable. During the .75 mile road to the halfway mark, co-worker and frisbee buddy Jason passed me, but then I passed him and the Honnettes just before we hit the singletrack for the last 1.5 miles. I pushed hard on the singletrack and really felt great- I was able to go fast and did not feel like I was dying. I passed 2 guys within the first half mile, then was alone for a while. With about .5 mile to go, I came close to another guy, but then he picked it up a bit and held me off just as I started to run out of steam. Ran right next to a copperhead near the finish. Came in 19:55, which was a surprise, and found out later I was 9th overall and 2nd age group. Very surprised I was top 10- I thought there were probably 15 guys ahead of me. Overall I felt great, even my shin, and was very happy with my speed and placing. It was better than expected.
The guy just in front, Brandon, said he recognized me from a few years ago, except I "was a lot skinnier then" (ouch, but true). Then cheered in my dad to age group win and Marci.
It was a lot of fun to race again. If I can get my leg right, I'd like to do it more. This is a special race to me as running fast on trails at night is very unique. I carry a big light (3 AA batteries) in my hand to really light up the trail and show shadows. It works better for me than a small light on the head.
Very fun to race again.