Even though I'm trying to chill during my runs this year, I found I was comfortably keeping pace with a group running at just under a nine-minute mile. As hard as I tried to slow down, my mind just wouldn't let go of the psychology involved when you have people passing you. Fortunately the long climbs after mile three slapped some sense into me. There's something about walking up a hill that makes you realize you should conserve your energy. Okay, I should conserve my energy.
The Vibram Bikilas held up well. (I saw one other runner wearing Vibrams.) Around mile four or so there was a lengthy piece on a basalt railroad bed that was uncomfortable. Even those wearing shoes didn't like it. I took a couple of sharp pokes in the arches. There was a great view from there but it was more important to see where your feet were landing.
I don't listen to music while running because an MP3 player is one less thing to carry. I find I get a song in my head that matches the pace I want to run. Today's song was Josh Ritter's The Curse (nice video BTW). The waltz-like beat, one-two-three-one-two-three, was just the ticket.
I ran into Evil Elf at the finish line. Congrats to him, his wife, and their son for garnering awards in their respective races. He was kind enough to take a photo of my ragged self. Blech! This is not a criticism of his photo taking ability. I mean, just look at what he had to work with. My ballooning shirt makes me look like I chowed down on all the snacks at the water stations.