Ran the 'Shaker Seven' today, a race with an odd distance (seven miles) because that's how far it is if you run completely around Mascoma Lake. But a key bridge is being rebuilt this year, which turned the loop into an out and back just this once.
The route was still all along the lake, a good-sized one with lots of summer homes, especially on Shaker Boulevard, a dirt road that hugs the eastern shore. At one point, someone was running a motorboat in the distance; nothing can recreate my childhood like the sound of an outboard motor out on the water. (Combine it with the smell of leaded gasoline and I'm three years old again.)
Lucked out with the overcast; if the sun had come out, we all would have roasted for sure. As it was, the humidity (and the length of the course) made it one of those races where your shorts get completely soaked through, which is actually a satisfying feeling to me -- proof that I've exerted myself.
Finished in 1:11:57, or just over a 10-minute mile pace. (Checked the results page, and it was 10:17, putting me 64th out of a field of 81.) Not bad considering the lack of sleep of late, plus careless eating, i.e. nothing beforehand. I did drink coffee, but that only served to open the floodgates. Though I used the portable toilets prior to the race (for once I wasn't the last person to register), I later had to do something I rarely indulge in -- the mid-race dive-into-the-woods to relieve yourself.
But in this case it was needed, as we were only at Mile 4 and I could feel myself being, er, constrained by a full bladder. It's funny, but that can really hinder your speed. At that point, I was on a curve, and my fellow runners had spread out along the course. So I hopped off the road, ducked behind a boulder, and let go, hoping to get it taken care of quickly.
Unfortunately, the quantity did not lend itself to a quick return. And I wasn't that far into the woods, and to my alarm, a group of women were coming up quickly while I was still in mid-stream.
Not wanting to get charged with indecent exposure, I did my best to finish before anyone got too close, and then jump back into the race. In doing so, I unexpectedly sprayed my left hand. Smooth! So I just held it kind of out there and away from me until we reached the next water station, where I rinsed myself back to civility.
So that's Enfield, Town #120. Coupla weekends off until the next races in new towns on Saturday, July 16 in either Langdon or Ossipee. Decisions, decisions!