Friday, September 14, 2012

Chips and Salsa, and the Lobo Invite

Well, it's that time of year again in New Mexico, when all the roasting of Chile occurs and the smoky sensation fills the air.  Fall always brings such invigorating tastes to our palates.  The idea of roasted green chile added to every salsa dish is more of a treat than anything else.  I got my first taste of fresh chile this season when one of my students made me a pint of homemade salsa.  The school I'm at is considered a rural area - Los Lunas, so you can only image farmland and openness.  Well, there's farmland, but I'm pretty sure most of my students DON'T live on a farm milking cows at 4 in the morning.  But I am sure they make a lot of their meals from scratch, as well as the tasty salsa that was brought to me a few weeks ago.

That jar of salsa will be a precursor to this weekend's events!  The Chips and Salsa half marathon is an event I've done 3 times since living in Albuquerque, and have had a great time out there.  Two 3rd place finishes and a 1st place finish are notched onto my belt from that race.  And this year, with the slight lack of training, I still plan on claiming the title and all it's perks that come with it (a pay check).  Either way, it's going to be a great race, and another workout towards my New York City Marathon.  A race recap should follow quickly. 

Another race that happened without mention was the 2012 Lobo Cross Country Invite on August 31st.  That race was an eye opener for me and a few other guys on the Dukes TC.  I was more nervious going into that race than most other races I've done.  One reason for that, was the fact that I felt out of shape, and unprepared.  The other reason; is the idea that with shorter races I am more out of my comfort zone and cannot keep up with the speed needed to race against these young college kids.  But the "veteran" running experience I have would play to my advantage.

The race was originally going to be an 8k cross country race done at night, "under the lights".  Well, being a cross country race was all that was correct about this invite.  Many people called the race "a great success", but the men's 8k ended up being about 3.9 miles long, and not the proper distance.  No one really knew that until after the race as the results would show an incredible time.

Allen Wagner flew out from Hawai'i to race this thing, and was hoping to whip on some college kids.  The race strategy was to go out conservative and pick off all the whippersnappers that went out too fast.  I was going to follow this plan, but once the gun went off, everything just flew out the window.

After about 800 meters, I found myself towards the middle to back of the pack with a slew of idiot college kids in front of me.  I knew I was better than this and decided to move up towards the front, after all, cross country is my specialty.  I ended up racing pretty well and pushed through the hard parts as best as I could.  With the leaders just in front of me I knew I could finish in the same position as last year (5th place), but I was hoping to finish higher as I assumed we had more ground to cover.  But of course, I was wrong and the race was ending before I even knew what was going on.  It felt a little anticlimactic, especially since the entire cross country race was in the dark, and not many people were out on the far ends of the course.  However, there was a sudden roar of people towards the finish, but I was expecting the race to last a little longer, so the enthusiasm from the crowd didn't force me to "kick" to the finish.  I was a lot more happy with the idea that the race was shorter, and a marathon runner (whose almost 30) can still keep up with these whippersnappers...  Until next time.

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