|Some goal splits scribbled on arm and hand|
Here's something I learned today: If you want to get all of the fast runners in your area to show up to a race, offer a chance to win Super Bowl tickets! There were 988 runners at today's race, and some very impressive times. In my age group (35-39) there were five guys with times under 19 minutes! My time put me at 18th in my age group out of 74. I think this was the most competitive group of guys I've seen in my age group. The overall winner ran a sizzling 15:21. The overall masters winner was a 55yo male that ran a 16:38 (which put him 9th overall)!
Race conditions were great. The course was fairly flat, and the weather was sunny, calm, and cool - I think the temps were around 40-45 at the start. Low 40's are great for racing, but not so great for waiting for the race to start, so I waited until the last minute to get out of my warm car and head to the starting line. I did a slow jog to the start to warm up a bit. I actually timed things pretty well, because I only had to wait a couple of minutes before the horn sounded and we were off.
For some odd reason, there was a short sign in the middle of the road just past the starting line. People weren't able to see it until they were right up on it. So the result was alot of chaos and juking in the middle of the pack at the starting line.
Once I made it past that initial obstacle, I started off at a pretty fast pace. I checked my Garmin at about the 1/2 mile and my pace was low 7's. I knew I better back off a bit or I'd have a DNF or at least some walking in my very near future. Mile 2 I just pretty much zoned out and cruised. I started checking my pace more often during the last half of mile 2. I could feel myself slowing down, and I was starting to struggle to keep my pace. By the start of mile 3, it was a constant battle to keep my pace under 8. Mile 3 may have been the toughest mile I have ever run in my life. My heart rate was red-lining and my body ached like crazy. My legs were screaming to slow down, but I pushed on. With about 1/3 mile to go, I could finally see the finish line. It seems like there's nothing more motivating that seeing the finish line. I focused on the finish, determined not to quit so close to the end. As I made the final approach, I saw the finish line clock was around 23:40. I kicked hard and gave it all I had, determined to cross before 24. Official time: 23:50 :)
Post-race, they had a pretty good band playing and some Sun chips and Snickers bars to snack on. I had some Sun chips, and saved the Snickers for my kids.
I was also surprised to receive a finisher's medal as I crossed the finish line!
Finally, this race report wouldn't be complete without mentioning my other motivation for running hard today - my entry in the Freeze Your Thorns Off virtual 5k. From time to time, while running the streets of Richardson, I let my mind wonder to the desert landscapes of Arizona, as I virtually participated in The Boring Runner's 5k event. It was pretty cool to think about Adam's group in Arizona, along with other participants from all over, all participating in a virtual 5k today. Thanks, Adam, for providing me with a fun mental diversion to help pass the miles during a challenging race today!