Saturday, July 20, 2013

35th annual Lunar Rendezvous Run 5K Race Report

Waverly will tell you from traveling with me that I'm the master of vacation planning.  And part of that was scheduling a flight today that wasn't at the crack of dawn so I could squeeze in a race this morning here in town.

I knew that the last time I put a bib on for the Lunar Rendezvous Run that the first winner of the Houston Marathon, Dan Green, was putting on one too!

What I didn't realize is that it had been five years -- 2008!  I didn't have a great time that day - and today still isn't where I want things to be, but I figure everything will come together in the fall and winter.

And running six miles yesterday afternoon probably didn't help either.

Hosted at the Space Center Houston parking lot and run on the grounds of NASA in Clear Lake, the Lunar Rendezvous Run is put on by race director Jay Lee and supported by his staff at On The Run and the Bay Area Running Club.

The majority of races on the southeast part of town are put on by Jay, Robby Sabban or a combination of resources and parties.  The original Seabrook Lucky Trails Marathon race director Bob Linza was among the regulars helping out.

Sure, I run too many races.  It is the people, though, that I get a chance to see and interact with that make the investment in time and resources so worthwhile.

After being helped with my packet by Cheryl Jantkowski and Lori Alvarez, I visited with Robby and Bob for awhile.  Also talked to today's eventual winner Ryan Smith of Sugar Land.  (Glad to know that he plans on coming up and running the 2014 Fidelity Investments The Woodlands Marathon with us.)

As 7 a.m. approached, HARRA president Joe Carey asked to man the microphone to help getting people to their proper locations (packet and chip pickup) in time so as to not delay the start of the race.  I think it was a successful effort as Jay got the race started a couple of minutes early actually.

Runners on the far southeast side of Houston are certainly a pliable bunch!

As I was running to the start line, I told Pauline Nicodemus, "Darn.  Robby remembered to put the 3-mile flag out."

I've been trying to keep from trying to put down an 8:55 - 9:05 first mile, but it didn't seem like 9:29.30 was slow enough.

I grabbed some water at the aid station and then went in to a two-mile version of doing lots of 200-meter repeats with short breaks in between.  Again, my legs want to run low 9's and the rest of my system isn't supporting that effort.

Mile 2 was 10:10.53 and mile 3 was even worse -- 10:29.99.  I guess I picked it up a little in the last tenth of mile in 53.32 for a total time of 31:03.14.

Have had lots better and lots worse, but I'll keep going out there and try to get it back in the 28's and 29's where I'm capable at any day -- and, looking back, have been in the summertime even.

I got ahead of June Harris in mile one and had the rememberance of her catching and passing me down the homestretch of last year's Outrigger's by the Bay 5K, but she would pass me around that water stop.

Jim Alvarez was running with someone and they were looking to get under 30 and I told them to stay focused on June and she'd get them under that time.

One BARCer who I've heard by name was saying that she was using me to pace off of - well, that's a mistake!  After we both had finished (she ahead of me), I found out it was Anna Stegemann-Wilson.  (Thought she only did the long stuff, like fellow BARCer Annabel Dixon.)

Saw or talked to the usual suspects Ben Harvie, John Moyer and had a great conversation before the race with Chris Peden, who handles all of Robby's tax work with Running Alliance Sport.

Missed Veronica Hoge at the Baytown Bud Heatwave, but she was there before jetting off to New York and then Stockholm.  Vera Balic was back racing and, today, I couldn't keep up with her father, Boris.  Another day.  Another race.

Want to run a not fancy, but well-executed, fast and flat course?  Lunar and Outrigger's are two that you should put on your summer calendar if you're in the greater Houston area.

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