I went into this race thinking that I wouldn’t do that well, having not done any speed training for months. Wednesday night I ate dinner, watched Parenthood and cried my face off (always, ALWAYS with that show), and tried to get to bed at a respectable time. I had to wake up at 5:30am to make it to town in time to pick up my friends, breathe, and get to the race. I’m not one for waking up early, especially not before 10am, so I was kind of nervous that I’d sleep through all of my alarms. Luckily though, one of the four I set woke me up in time. I toasted part of a sourdough baguette, filled a gigantic mason jar with iced coffee, put a few other things (water, clothes, etc.) into my bag and headed out INTO THE DARK. It’s pretty awesome being awake when it’s still dark out.
I got to Mary’s house around 7:15, Cassie showed up soon after, and we headed to the gym where everyone hangs out before the start. I timed my hydration and subsequent peeing perfectly and didn’t need to wait in the huge line like I did last year. We met up with Roshan and I said maybe five times to him, “let’s run together, what pace are you doing?” My plan was to keep up with him as long as I could and hopefully maintain a pretty consistent pace. We headed outside into the COLD AS SHIT weather and everyone was like “OH MY GOD THIS WIND” as we lined up. There were three boys about 9 years old in front of us and one said “WATCH ME RUN A 5 MINUTE MILE”, and then they proceeded to hit each other in the crotch.
The race started and I stuck with Roshan for roughly 1/3 of a mile. Then I saw him speed down the hill like a gazelle away from me. This course, as is the case with all of the courses in my hometown, has some deceivingly horrific hills. I tried to find the actual elevation chart online but all of them were different, so here is an exaggerated image of it that I drew in paint:
The race basically goes: straight, downhill, rough uphill, straight, downhill, rough uphill, straight, baby hill to finish. I’d barely call the finish a hill but you go up slightly and at that point it feels like you’re scaling a mountain so for the sake of how it feels, I will call it a hill. The first hill is “Harris hill”. The trick is to not kill yourself on this hill. I feel like I pranced up it in an effort to not run too fast. A man was puking off to the side when I went up. Then things got straight, then they went downhill, then I hit the final hill. WOOF. I dry heaved up this thing so many times. I think it was a combination of the wind preventing me from taking real deep breaths and slapping me in the face, the cold weather, and my lack of speed training.
When things straightened out I was like “yeah, cool, I just passed this woman now I need to pass this girl with the leopard print headband”. And I did, and then I puked. Bry (who is currently in a boot) and this other guy Travis I know were at the finish saying ‘FINISH STRONG’ and I was like YEAH WORD I GOT THIS, and ran in, saw no clock, saw Roshan, and puked. I really tried not to puke, but I kept dry heaving, and then when I wandered to the field it just came out. Oh well, it was a brief puke. I kept yelling to Roshan, “I PUKED ACTUAL PUKE”, and some guy nearby was staring at me like I was the worst or weirdest person ever. Where’s the solidarity, dude?
Afterwards we hung out in the gym, hoping to win the raffle. None of us won anything in the raffle.
Turns out, as I said in my last post, that I ran 23:30, averaging a pace of 7:34. My mind is blown. I’m sure there are slight inaccuracies as this was taken down via stopwatch since the timing system blew over, but I feel good knowing that I definitely got under 24 minutes. Last year I ran 25:17 or something, so I’m psyched.
This week’s training has been WAY BETTER than last week, when I totaled a whole six miles. I’m just counting this week as my first week of training. Tomorrow I’ll be running a local 10 mile race as my long run for the week. A few of my friends are running it, and the entry fee is 15 canned goods for a food pantry, which I think is really cool. A nice way to spend a Sunday. It is supposedly going to rain + snow, but maybe it won’t start until later in the day.