We parked far enough away to get in a good walk/jog warm-up to the start. After a few clothing changes and a kiss from Graham, we were off.
I realized in the car that I completely didn't even think about bringing music. I haven't listened to music while running for a long time now, and I don't miss it, but I thought I might get a little bored and want some stimulation during the race. However, no music device and no headphones meant no sounds. And actually, that was just fine. I think I've gotten to the point where music actually is too distracting for most runs, but I was worried that without my race crutch I wouldn't have fun. Stupid, yes, but that's fine.
I told the poet before we left for the race that I wanted to run at a comfortable but slightly brisk pace, and estimated that I'd run a 56 (in my head, a 56 was 9:30 pace, whoops). However, I decided not to wear a watch or Garmin, so I also told him that I might far underestimate how slow I was running and coming in at 1:14, but that there was no chance I would "accidentally" PR because I just didn't want to hurt. Since I didn't wear a watch and there were no split mats, I'm going to make up mile splits based on how I was feeling. Please note NONE OF THESE TIMES ARE REAL, it is all CRAP FROM INSIDE MY OWN HEAD.
Mile 1: 10:58
I placed myself much further back in the start corral than I usually do, mostly because I didn't want to get swept out at 8:15 pace and then blow up and be cranky all day. I started behind a girl wearing loose fleece sweatpants, several layers on top including a wind-blocking jacket, a full scarf, knit ear warmers, gloves, and an iPod armband, no watch. She seemed like a good person to run with so I decided that I'd stay behind her for a while and not try and dodge around people like a maniac. The first mile was quite crowded and lots of people were chatting, and it was nice to just bounce along with the stomp-stomp-stomp of running feet.
Mile 2: 10:08
After we went past the mile 1 sign, I took a little mental overview of my effort and decided that I was probably running around 140 HR (long run style). It seemed reasonable to start chugging a little faster. I sped up until I felt like I was somewhere near MAF, and figured I would hang out there until the turn-around.
Mile 3: 9:38
After going through the water stop at mile 2 (no, I did not drink any water), we hit a tiny gust of wind heading around the end of the point, but it went away pretty quickly. The lead men passed us going the opposite direction (rude). Right before we hit the loop to turn around, a couple of guys came up behind me, laughing at the back of my shirt (puppies shitting rainbows).
Mile 4: 8:52
When I turned to chat with the guys, I saw that they were wearing IMKY finishers hats. I obviously was wearing my IMCdA hat because I refuse to go out in public without some display of my ironman finish, so we started yammering about our races. They were running just a hair faster than I was comfortable running while talking - if we hadn't been yapping, it probably would have been perfect, exactly how hard I felt like running.
Mile 5: 8:43
We continued chatting all the way back down Ohio Drive. I noticed that the people around us were huffing and snorting and working hard, and I felt like a bit of an asshole chattering merrily away about races, but that's life in the fast lane, my friends.
Mile 6: 8:31
After we went through the water stop on the back side, I felt us speed up just a hair (more rude). It was nice to have the sun on our backs but I was boiling hot and more than a little horrified by all the fleece-wearing racers around me - I was in shorts and a tee-shirt and wished I was wearing less (the eyeballs of the world are thankful I was not). Right before we hit the mile 6 mark, I caved and asked one of my new friends what time was on his watch. "51 and change" he told me, and I VERY VERY MISTAKENLY believed him, said, "fuck," and took off for the finish line to try and get under my 53ish 10K PR.
.2: 0:38 (3:10 pace, obviously this is real)
I charged down Ohio Drive but as soon as I could see the clock, realized that a) those guys had come running up behind me at mile 3 which meant they had started WAY back in the corral and b) there was no possible way I had unknowingly been running sub-8:30 pace since I departed an hour ago. Complete and total failure to do proper math, as usual. (I know I'm in the blurry background but CHECK OUT MY GORGEOUS FORM!!) (Sorry, number 1924).
Official time based on the guys with the mats: 55:58, 9:01 pace
After running less than a quarter-mile all out, I was pretty pleased to have run the first 6 at an easy peppy pace and not been racing. Sarah and I had a nice chatty jog-walk back to the car, and then did a Superman-quick-change and headed directly to stuffing ourselves with brunch.
There is only one piece of data I will note from this, and then I will go back to being blissfully ignorant about clocks and watches and hearts for the rest of the month. Last year around this time, I ran a STORM THE CASTLE 10K. It was impossibly hard and painful and resulted in one of the greatest finishing pictures of all time. Time? 54:54.
Two years ago, I PRd my 10K with Liz by a ridiculous amount of time, also incredibly painful, also brilliant finishing shot. Time? 53:18.
I know that a minute is a lot of time in a 10K, but to run only a minute off of last year's time and suffering for only about 30 seconds because I'm bad at math after chattering along for half an hour? That's okay. I will take it. And maybe one day, perhaps soon, I'll be interested in running hard again. Or maybe not. (I have absolutely no idea what the hell is going on in this picture but had to post it).
How was your weekend? Did you run moderately for almost an hour like me?