fog. lots of fog.
10 miles, 1:48:37, 10:50 pace
Today was my first race of 2010, the California 10. I hadn’t run since Tuesday, due to the cough and headcold I had developed. I ran out of time on Friday, so every single run was scrapped for the whole week.
My race plan was to run the first 3 miles at 11:45 pace, the next 4 at 11:30 pace, the last 3 at 11:15. I was totally prepared to do this. I was also afraid that I couldn’t run at all. This picture is before I left the house. I was feeling a bit wonky with my cold, but I really wanted to run this.
I arrived in French Camp at 8am. The race didn’t start until 9. I was sitting in the parking lot, and who comes in, but Ron, from PunkRockRunning. I had no idea he was running. My running partner had to teach Sunday School, so there I was. It was great to see him!!
Did my plyos, did my 4th bathroom run, because this run there was to be NO stopping, and no bathroom. Honestly, I always go to the bathroom on regular runs, but only one time during a race, and that was NIKE. Anyway, I wandered around, realized that it was a SUPER small race, so small I could leave my keys in the car and leave it unlocked. That tent? It was the only one.
Just as I was about to start, two of my NIKE teammates from October came up to me! I was so excited to see them, and found out that they were mentoring and training for the next round of TNT. It was great to remember that time, and even though it was a while ago…(3 months in running time!), it seems like so much has changed with my running since then.
The crowd surged toward the start. There were about 450 people there, and some were running the 10K, some the 10 Miler.
I knew I would be slow. My legs felt like lead. I tried to hit a 11:45 pace, but it was simply too slow. I had to figure on a Progression run at a slightly faster time. I got settled in on an 11:15 pace. I stopped watching people surge ahead of me. This was not a race, I was testing my mettle to see if I could run after 4 days of being sick. At the 2 mile marker, the 10K folks went to the right. I thought about shifting, but I didn’t want a DNF on this 10 miler.
At mile 3, I started to hit my stride, and felt good. I continued in the fog. Just straight fog. Kudos to the race volunteers who were cheering, hooting and hollering all the way. I felt like a ROCKSTAR!
Mile 4 starts the ascent over the San Joaquin River. It was not a hard overpass, as we do those daily. But, I was starting to see the elites (high school & college athletes) come back. Usually, it’s a bummer because that means I have a LONG way to go. This was where I saw the girls from TNT ahead of me. Cocaine Blues came on from Walk the Line, and over the river I went.
At the mile 5 turn around, I was still under 11:00 min pace, which is where I wanted to be until mile 7. I started my race mantra: “Pick off the next guy.” One by one I started passing lone runners. I finally caught the gray haired dad and his daughter at mile 7…and it was back over the river.
Mile 7, I took the Gu out of my pocket that I had been waiting for, and slugged it down. Ran right through the water stop, grabbed a sip, and kept going. I didn’t even really need it…but I took it anyway.
Mile 8-9-10 I kept on getting a few runners here and there. The two girls from TNT came up to me and gave me some nice compliments on my running, that I had gotten faster, that I looked good. Mile 9 & 10, I asked them if I could run with them, because at that point, I wanted a 10:45 pace.
We passed a white haired man…an older lady. And, as we came around toward the finish line, he passed us back. I couldn’t hold on, and they surged ahead of me, but I looked at my watch and it said 10:08. I was VERY happy to see the finish line…but even when you know it’s only a half mile away, it’s a long half mile.
Made it to then end, and just like the Modesto Midnight Half Marathon, there was Ron. I went and changed, and met a woman in the restroom…the woman I passed. She said, “Well, my 1:30 days are over. I finished in 1:48.” She said she was 78 now. I told her I was 50, and she beamed…”ah….to be 50!”
Age. It’s all relative.
Great race, good soup and friends after. First race of 2010 is in the books. If I knew two years ago that I would still be running, I would have made more room.
The zeros show that I didn’t stop. Not once.