The 10K on Saturday AM was a good event all around. Well run, plenty of water and port-a-potties, and a jazzy t-shirt for my time. Overcast (mercifully) and uber humid.
I got there about 45 minutes before race start. Picked up my packet and chip and walked the two blocks back to my car to put my goody bag up. Hit the port-a-pottie which still had no wait. The sky started spitting rain a few minutes later so I headed back to my car to get my hat. I sort of half-jogged to "warm up" although I didn't put much effort into it. Truth be told, I almost thought of going home. I had my shirt. I could just lie to my husband and pretend that I had done the run. How pathetic is that? I think the humidity, combined with the fact that I had not run in a calendar week, intimidated me. Thankfully my pussification subsided and I made my way back to the starting area.
I saw a few folks that I know from campus. All fast people, one of whom actually won the women's overall 10K (6:55 pace for the whole thing - wowzas!). I saw another guy I know that happened to be one of the race volunteers - he was very impressed that I had a blue 10K bib on instead of the white 5K one - the race had not started, but that slight gesture kind of made me feel better about doing the race.
I fell into the middle of the pack, where us 10:00 milers belong. Well, we were actually slighty back of the middle of the lineup. I talked with a few folks who had done the Country Music Marathon the past few years and it turns out one of them had done the half at Disney in January as well.
The run itself was actually most uneventful. A very hilly course. Over one bridge, back over another. The middle two miles of the course were part of the Riverwalk, a route I usually do at least once or twice a week. I was doing quite a bit of mental cheering and coaching and reminding myself that I OWN this slab of concrete and that I would be done in a mere 4 more miles.
I was having some pretty bad knee/shooting pain down my entire left leg during the fourth mile for some reason. I ended up running with some (for lack of a better term) old man - that's really the best way to describe it. He was just some really old dude, but with one look you could tell he was a very seasoned runner. Turns out he had already run 5 miles prior to the event with the Saturday morning long run group of the local track club and he was using the 10K to get himself up to an 11 miler for the day. He also worked on recruiting me for said long run group and assured me that he always ran at this pace. He may do the Rome (that's Italy) marathon in March**. I had to stop to stretch the leg, so he left me behind. I finished up the last 1.2 miles - final time was 64:57, 20th in my age division (out of 26).
As I was finishing up I started to think about how this running thing will never come easy for me. I really doubt I will ever have anything better than a 9:15 mile for any given run. A (very big) part of the reason for that is that I am not consistent in training and 18 months into this venture I still don't do things like speed work or hill work or any other specialty workout - my own fault, I know. Every run I go on is junk mileage and I can't seem to get past it. Ideally, I would love to be a 25-30 mile-per-week person, but maybe I should accept my 12-15 mile-per-week-ness and be okay with that.
**I wonder if the water stops in the Roma Marathon are all San Pellegrino.