I have said it before and I will say it again after running it again this year, the Scripps Ranch Old Pros 10K is one of my favorite runs of the year. The course is relatively flat, you run around Miramar lake, cross over the Dam, the views are great, the last 1.25 miles are all downhill (YEAH GRAVITY!) and the beer garden at the end in the park is always a good time.
It doesn’t hurt that I get to run it every year with a very good friend.
I always go down and stay with Robb and his family on the 3rd and then we get up at the crack of too-damn-early the morning of the 4th to get out on the road. This year Anna and Xavier came down with, the past couple years Anna has stayed back in OC. We got a much later start that expected, but it was a good run for taking the baby somewhere overnight. We definitely over packed, but in this case it is much better to over pack than under pack (remember that any future dads who may be reading!). To Say Xavier was a big hit might be another one of those understatements I mention so often!
Well the crack of too-damn-early came as expected, early and I got up and started dressing. As I have learned from my wonderful coach D I had everything laid out and ready, so getting ready was a breeze. We got out on the road and on the drive down to Scripps ranch we talked a little about what our goals are for the race. I just wanted to finish in under 1:15. Robb said his goal was to finish in under 1:20. Registration was a snap, we were bibbed and chipped and ready to go. a mandatory stop to the restrooms were in order and we ran into our other friends running the race, John and his wife Amy. John made his way to the front as he is a much faster runner than the rest of us and wanted to have a really good time. We all hung back a bit. Right before the gun, I REALIZED MY GARMIN WAS MALFUNCTIONING!!! This is a major disaster for runners, they will all tell you when they run with a Garmin, they live by the Garmin. I quickly got over it, as I remembered “this is not your season, just do it and enjoy it”. We were off! In years past I remember the slight uphill being a little more difficult, so I was thinking I am off to a strong start.
We got to the lake and I was still moving at what I thought was a decent pace. the start of the race, no matter where you line up always gets congested as you enter the trail around the lake, so I knew that was going to be a little slow. Got past the one mile marker over 11 minutes. subtract the time to cross the start line, I felt strong. I passed the second mile in even faster that i got to the 1st mile marker. That is when I started to get gassed. I took a couple more walks than I care to admit throughout the race, staring in the 3rd mile. Robb and I kept catching up and passing each other, it was back and forth throughout the first 4 miles. I felt the rumblings in the fourth mile in my stomach and knew I would have to pit stop. I have no idea what the deal is, I did not eat heavy the day before but nature was calling again. So I told Robb I was going to pit at the port o lets near the start line in the 5th mile. As we got further along, I ended up hitting a port o let a little closer, so I had to make a stop. After that stop it was like I was a new man. I picked up the pace, and was able to finish strong. Like I mentioned before, the last 1.2 miles are all downhill and it is AWESOME!! I tore down the hill, made the last turn to the finish line. Now last year I remember taking that turn and thinking “really, we still have THAT MUCH FURTHER??” this year I made the turn and thought “oh, there it is, not far at all!” I finished in 1:10:44 which is just over 4 minutes faster than my goal and that is with a 2 minute pit stop!!
The shirt this year is awesome, a big departure from years past. The beer garden was great as always. We hung out for a few and then called it another successful Scripps Ranch run! If you are in San Diego County and are looking for a great event to start your independence day off right, I CANNOT recommend a better event!! I will be there next year for my 5th consecutive run!
If I can gather some pictures, I will post them later!