Archive for June 13, 2010

It’s race week this week as Run for Dom will be taking to the streets of Holland, TX – population 1,115 – on Saturday morning as part of the 36th annual Holland Corn Festival.  We do a lot of things really well here in Texas – but one of my favorite things that helps make such a large place seem much more intimate is the small town festival. 

There is something about seeing small boys and girls decorating their bicycles for a parade, a Main Street overflowing with families, music and of course the smell of barbeque.  My absolute favorite part of the small town festival are the “old-timers”.  I love chatting up a few of the elderly gentlemen who always seem to be at these events sharing stories about the past and how things have changed since “conditioned air”

I like to hear about how towns like Holland who have been celebrating the local cash crop for almost as long as I have been alive have changed over the years, all the while celebrating how much they have stayed the same.  It is good fun for everyone aged 1-100 – and I enjoy being a part of it.

Of course a small town festival would not be complete without a 5K race to kick-off the festivities – and at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning we will be there with our Brooks T6 Racers on our feet looking to run a fast time and hopefully bring home some hardware.

The course is a loop course, an out and back that takes you from Main Street in “downtown” Holland out into the countryside full of corn fields and back.  There are a couple of hills that I would describe as “moderate” mid-course and a slight decline down to the finish line at the end of 3.1 miles.

In 2009 I ran two very technically sound races back to back in May and June.  The 2009 Pittsburgh Marathon 3:17:43 and the Holland, 5K 19:40.  Both remain my PR’s for those two distances.  At Holland last year I posted splits in the 5K of 6:18, 6:17, 6:24 with a closing :41 over the final .10 miles.  I was pretty torched at the end of the race pushing a fast pace over the opening two miles – but all in all that was just about as fast as my then 41 year-old legs could take me.

This year I am a year-older, a year-wiser and a more experienced racer.  I think that the weather on race morning will have as much to do with my chase for a new PR as my fitness level and training will.  The last couple of weeks here in Austin have been very difficult for running.

High morning temperatures and high humidity which just saps your strength and energy.  This Sunday’s run which covered 10 miles was a pretty brutal test of hills, humidity and heat.

Hills:  228 feet of elevation change.

Humidity:  84%

Heat:  80 degrees.

Those conditions conspired to treat me to a time of 1:18:20 (7:50 pace).  One of my “slowest” runs in more than a year, but at the end of a tough seven days of training that included a 5K race on Wednesday night – it was a good run to “finish off” my legs.

This week we will be traveling to Iowa Monday through Wednesday which will hopefully allow for some training in cooler temperatures and then a two-day rest period on Thursday and Friday leading up to race morning in Holland.

I am hoping that the extra rest will help these 42-year-old legs rebound a bit and we can make a run at a new PR on Saturday.  Last year our time was good enough for a first place age-group trophy and a photo with the Holland Cornfest Queen.  I’m hoping for a repeat performance this year – but if that is not in the cards I won’t be too disappointed.

Participants get a Corn Fest T-shirt, a free ear of corn from the Holland Future Farmers of America, Door Prizes and fruit and drinks at the finish.

Best $15 I will have spent in many, many months.

Later in the day there will be a parade, crowning of the queen and duchess, a horseshoe tournament, live music, crafts, barbeque cook-off and of course …. the chicken fly.

I will be posting about the chicken fly next weekend in a post all of its own – as that is something everyone should see at least once.

For a complete schedule of events click here:

http://www.hollandcornfest.org/SCHEDULEOFEVENTS08.htm

So another busy week ahead at Run for Dom – we have a product review on-tap for Tuesday morning, please stop back by for a visit.