Scorcher Four – Part 1

One year ago, I entered the Scorcher Four running race; it was my first race in three or four years after a long layoff due primarily to knee problems.

The Scorcher Four is a four-mile (natch) race that circles through the streets in University City, Mo. It is sponsored by Ghisallo Running, and it starts and finishes in front of their U. City store. Not only does it come during the hottest part of the year, but the course seems to find every single hill in that municipality.

Needless to say, I was apprehensive. Not just because of the hills and the heat and the fact that it was my first race in a while, but I had also really only been running again for about two months. I’d gotten in a few long runs, but my “comeback” was definitely still a work in progress.

I tried to take it easy in the race, but those hills were mean. After about two miles, I was seriously considering talking a walking break. But I forced myself to keep running and I made it to the end, with even a little sprint in the last quarter mile. My time, though, was much slower than I know I could have done when I was in shape (and younger). For the record, it was 31:11, an average of 7:48 per mile.

Well, now I’m in better shape … although certainly no younger. While last year I ran a total of about 50 miles in June and July, this year I ran 185 miles in that same time frame.

The 2010 Scorcher Four is coming up this morning, and once again I’ll be toeing the line. I’ll post here again after the race, and we can see how far I’ve come in the last year.

ETA: For my after-action race report, click here.

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