There’s a reason they call it the Hills of Lakeway. I might be from Colorado, but I typically train on an extremely flat trail. This morning’s 5K has a couple hundred feet of elevation change in three miles. Unbelievable. The first two hundred yards are flat, then the course drops, sometimes steeply, for the next half mile. Ken takes the lead from the start but we settle into a three man lead pack with twenty-four year old Jimmy Ivey. Jimmy ran Cross Country for West Virginia Tech and works now as a diesel mechanic for Caterpillar in Austin.
Mostly downhill, we run the first mile in 6:38, almost identical to the start of my 5K yesterday in New Braunfels. We chat the entire time, because Ken, an insurance agent and serial entrepreneur, is a talker. Ken and I quiet down once we start up the next hill. Jimmy continues talking and doesn’t appear to be breathing, so we sense we’re in trouble. As the hill begins to steepen, Jimmy gains some separation. A half mile later, he has 20 seconds on me. I’m able to count this from where we turn around at the half way point.
I chase Jimmy after the turn as it’s downhill again, but he increases his lead. I hit mile two in 7:08, again almost identical to yesterday despite the extreme hills. Mile three though is brutal – a half mile climb. I’m breathing like a race horse on the back stretch and lactic acid burns inside my thighs. I’m not going to catch Jimmy, he continues to increase his lead. I run mile three in 7:31 – a half minute slower than yesterday’s third mile. I cross the line in 21:58, 39 seconds behind Jimmy. For the second day in a row, I place second overall. Always a bridesmaid. Kenneth finishes a close third.
We feel pretty good because not only did we both finish in the top three, but there are no other fifty year olds in the top 20. We celebrate our demonstrated vitality with breakfast tacos at Rudy’s BBQ on 620 – a quarter mile past the 2222 intersection. Another cold and wet race on a rainy Central Texas weekend. Not bad running weather, although not comfortable for standing around afterward. I’m showered, warm and dry now. Kenneth is talking about another 5K next Saturday down in Kyle.