Despite a cold and sore calves, I went and ran. The weather was chilly (lower 40s) and a bit windy, but sunny. Perfect for running! After a good night of sleep and a hearty breakfast, I was ready to go.
Pre-race breakast: 3 Weetabix biscuits, bluebberies, kiwi, cow whole milk and wheat germ.
I arrived an hour before the start of the race because I wanted to have time to warm up long enough and to use the porta-potties - always an issue on race days...
After jogging for about 40 minutes, I went to the starting line where I came across one of the Lady Godivas (a new young "recruit") who also had a nasty cold. In fact, about half of the participants were blowing their noses. I was not the only “nut” out there! LOL
Amy and I started the race together and ran along for the first two miles but she left me "in the dust" on one of those first "killer" hills. I still could see her bright jacket ahead of me for the next two other miles but despite my efforts, I could not catch her up or even maintain an equal distance between us. She ended up finishing in 52:24 minutes which I know was close to her goal!
So, I picked another Runner whose pace was similar to mine and tried to stick with him, which I did for about 2 miles, but in the middle of another hill (the course was very hilly) he distanced me too. I was obviously slowing down and I felt like I was “hitting the wall”. My legs were feeling like lead! Runners I had passed earlier were now passing me... So, I ate a few Sport Jelly Beans and I drank a few sips of water from my hand-bottle, then I was able to speed-up again.
I selected another Runner to keep up with but again I looked at her running away ahead of me. I tried to pace up to the maximum speed I was able to run at that point (7.9 mph - pace 7:33 min/mile) but I was not able to catch up with her and to pass her before the finish line like I would have liked to (because I knew she was in my age group) - I ended up passing the finish line 11 seconds behind her... [sighs]
Most of the race was on pavement, except for the last mile and a half (or so) that was on dirt and the last meters to the finish line that were on grass. That made it hard to keep up the sprint pace.
I ran my race in 54:32 minutes – average pace 8:47 min/mile (official time) – 54:29 minutes on my Garmin. This is not as good as my first 10K back in July (54:03 minutes) but it is slightly better than my second 10K in September (54:37 minutes – and that one was a relatively flat course)
I took advantage of every down hill but I was too slow going up those steep hills... If I had followed "Robert" (who by the way is 28 years older than me) to the end I would have reached my sub-54 goal, because he finished in 53:32 minutes!
Thanks to my Garmin that has recorded my race, I can see that I probably started too fast, then slowed down at mile 2 - that explains why I couldn't keep up with Amy. Stats also show that I ran mile 3 a bit faster due to the fact that I was trying to keep up with "Robert", and that I felt weak at mile 4. Then, the "Sport Jelly Beans boost" at mile 5 and the struggle again at mile 6.
Mile 1 = 8:35 minutes
Mile 2 = 8:44 minutes
Mile 3 = 8:41 minutes
Mile 4 = 8:53 minutes - "hit the wall"
Mile 5 = 8:46 minutes
Mile 6 = 9:12 minutes - on dirt
.21 = 1.37 minutes - in the grass
This placed me 138/235 overall finishers (58.7%)
and 12/34 in my age group (35.3%)
The Lady who finished first in my age group did it in 44:23 minutes! Now, I don't know if she was sick or not but that is more than 10 minutes faster than me... [sighs] Impressive, huh?
The first male to pass the finish line did it in 31:49 minutes (5:08 min/mile pace) and the first female - Olympic Champion Joan Benoit Samuelson - at age 51 finished in of 37:31 minutes (6:03 min/mile pace) What a Lady Runner, huh?
After the race, bananas, oranges and apples were offered to runners. No proteins... So I only grabbed a banana and a bottle of water and headed to my car where I had a Recovery Protein Shake, Walnuts/Almonds and a Mozzarella cheese string I had brought from home.
Overall, this was a fun race. Not too many runners (I don’t like over-crowded races too much) a beautiful scenic course through the National Park and farms around, but very challenging.
In the video, I appear at 4:07 minutes, running along with Amy (bright yellow jacket) and behind "Robert" who is actually the runner I chose to run along with after I "lost" Amy. At 13:36 minutes of the video, Joan Benoit Samuelson crossing the bridge at mile 5 (red cap). Amy is at 25:43 minutes (yellow bright jacket) - Robert at 26:51 minutes - I come at 27:23 minutes (with the bouncing poney tail and sunglasses, and tripping at the end of the bridge... LOL). At 27:48 minutes comes my second selected "pacer" (wearing her bright yeallow jacket around her waist) That was before she passed me and I tried to keep up with her.
Conclusion: I didn't reach my sub-54 goal and I was "geezed" by a 71 year-old man, but I still feel good about running this race against all odds, because I know I would have had regrets if I had not showed up!