I realize that posts about running and my workouts are probably not all that interesting to anyone but me. So I promise this will be the last one that goes into detail. After my previous post about the Gov, I'd hate to leave everyone hanging about the big race last week.
First of all, it took me 2+ hours to drive from my class to Q's place. Weather sucked, traffic sucked, and I very nearly missed the race! But I made it to Q's, we jumped on the train and hurried over to the race. We got there literally 7 minutes before the race started.
I did not care much for the course. First off, the starting line was on a narrow strip of walkway that could handle approximately 10 people across. Not good for a race with 1600+ runners. So, after the quarter mile walk to the end of the line, we were finally ready. Well, kind of. You really couldn't hear anyone at the starting line, nor was there a starting gun we could hear. We just saw the mass of humanity in front of us start moving. So, we started moving too. Nearly 4 minutes later, we actually made it to the starting line.
As an aside, this is the first race I've done where the organizers utilized a timing chip that electronically monitors when you start and when you finish, taking all the guesswork out of it. It was pretty sweet and convenient. Anyhow, now we're running. I did this run with Wudchuk and Q, both of whom have been working out plenty lately. Wudchuk took off quite quickly right off the bat and Q dropped back as he was trying to stick to his marathon training pace, or at least somewhere near it. I took off at my own pace but had Wudchuk in my sights for pretty much the whole race, never being more than 25 yards behind.
There were a lot of people in this race and since we were starting near the end, a lot of the people in front of us needed to be passed. This caused the first couple of miles to be an exercise in dodging bodies while trying to maintain a good pace. In some ways, that helps keep your mind off getting tired or whatever but it's kind of a waste of time and energy and probably slows things down. Remembering that my run last month took 28:56, I was hoping to beat that time in this race.
One thing I worry about in each race is going out too fast and meeting the Governor or some other untimely demise. So I usually consciously try to hold back. But it's hard for me, I get pretty psyched up with all of the people and the race environment and the adrenaline gets going. As we approached the 1 mile marker, I was feeling good and crossed the marker at about 8:10. Whoa, that's quite a bit faster than usual. But I was still feeling ok so didn't worry too much about it.
The second mile was also not too bad, crossed the 2 mile marker at just over 16:00, not bad at all! No visit from the Governor so I'm beginning to think that I might not get to exchange pleasantries with him after all. I've still got Wudchuk in my sights and he seems to be slowing down a little bit. As such, I was able to finally close the last 10 meters on him at about 2.25 mile marker. With a clap on the shoulder I let him know I was there and helped him keep his pace up.
The things I didn't like about the course were a few. One, the width of the course we were running on. Get some streets blocked off or something, this is a big race! Two, the conditions of the path we were running on weren't the greatest. There were several areas where the pavement was thoroughly chunked up and kinda dangerous to run on. Three, there was no mile marker at the third mile (which we didn't know until the end!) and you didn't see the finish line until you had about 200 meters left in the race. Not good. So, I hope they change these things in the future, they were distracting and annoying.
I mention them because by the time we hit what was around the 3 mile mark, I was feeling it. At this point, Wudchuk helped me keep my pace up. When we turned the corner and spotted the finish line, we both dashed with whatever we had left and crossed that finish line side by side, gasping, panting, victorious! I knew it was a good run time but wasn't sure exactly how good. Well, the next morning, Wudchuk looked it up online and we both scored major personal records with a 26:06 finish! Whoa!!!!!!!!! I shaved almost 3 minutes off in a month. I would not have believed I had it in me. That is far and away the fastest I've run probably since junior high.
Very excited at the finish and now really looking forward to my next race (which hasn't been identified yet, sometime in August for sure). I would love to get down under 25 minutes by the end of the season. I believe this should be motivation for me to keep the training going. Thanks to Wudchuk for being a great running partner (and pacing beacon with that bright yellow shirt of his, very Tour de France of him).
Since then, I also managed to check out the Hangover for a second time (definitely funnier the 2nd time) and hit the local card room for a couple hour session Saturday night where I managed to crack Q's Aces and finished the session up nearly $150. Great warmup for my trip this weekend out to Vegas! I expect to be swamped between now and then finishing up my final project for class and hopefully getting in a couple of runs. As such, I probably won't be back for a bit to visit unless it is very brief.
Song lyric of the day "Running down a dream / working a mystery / going wherever it leads" Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Until next time.