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Ran my first organized race in over 15 months today, the Step N Out 5K to benefit the TGen Foundation and to fight pancreatic cancer, and thought I'd post a few observations:

1. I've been spending a fair amount of time in the gym lately, but most of it has been weight training. I've been doing mixed cardio - treadmill, elliptical, stair-master for four or five days a week for 30-40 minutes, but I don't get the same rush out of cardio that I do from lifting. I like the upper body DOMS better than the runners' aches. Lately, now that the weather has changed, I've been doing more running outside. I don't think I've got the drive and commitment to be anything more than a casual runner, which is OK. Also, I'm basically vain, and lifting seems to change one's looks more than running does.

2. Perfect conditions today. Started at 9AM, flat course at Kiwanis Park, temperatures in mid-60's, relatively uncrowded - 176 runners, and lots of walkers, but they (mostly) followed instructions and started after the runners.

3. The technology has improved even in the last fifteen months. Rather than chips, they had disposable tags, speeding up the pre-race and post-race process. Also, they were now able to post times on computer screens within about ten minutes of finishing.

4. Had mixed feelings about my performance today. Ran 28:44, for 9:15 minute miles, a personal best, so good as far as it goes. OTOH, I was hoping for more improvement based on the perfect conditions and the fact that my legs are significantly stronger in the gym. Put me mid-pack - 77/176 among all entrants and 50/104 for the men. I found it interesting that I was in the lower half of my age group - 50-59, where I was 9th out of 14 entrants. On the other hand, subtract 20 years from my age, and I would have been 12th out of 26. I don't truly believe that quinquagenerians are faster than younger folks, likely some sort of selection bias, but still interesting.

5. Today's playlist - started with a couple "Sugar" songs, based on the fact that the pancreas was the organ of interest, then mostly old favorites:
A. "Sugar, Sugar" The Archies
B. "Sugar, We're Goin' Down" Fall Out Boy
C. "Mrs. Robinson" The Lemonheads
D. "California Sun" Los Straitjackets & Dave Alvin
E. "Run Run Away" Slade
F. "Dance The Night Away" Van Halen
G. "Born To Be My Baby" Bon Jovi
H. "Call Me" Blondie
I. "Hang Fire" The Rolling Stones

6. Now that the weather's nice, I'm going to try to do a few more races. My trainer is trying to get me to do a half-marathon, which I'm not sure I'm up for. Hard to imagine doing today's race four-plus times back-to-back. Next up is the Phoenix Undy 5000 to fight colon cancer, . I'm going to wear Raiders' boxers over compression shorts and a Raiders' sleeveless T-shirt. Any advice in terms of improving my time or in terms of colon cancer or underwear songs for the playlist would be appreciated.

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