What is the definition of a race? From the race director’s email this week, it said it was going to be an “organized training run.” Okay, we didn’t have bibs or awards. But we did have a starting line, a finish line, 3 aid stations and most importantly jambalaya and beer. So I am going to call it race. Plus I haven’t written a race report in a long time.
When Christine and I signed up for this race a while back, we were going to use it as a good judge of our training for the Leatherwood Ultra. And then she broke and fractured a toe and her training went down the drain. My well documented lack of consistency has my fitness far from where it needs to be. So the goals for this race changed a bit.
When I woke up at 3:00 AM for the race, I was raring to go. Not really. The race started at 8:30 but my weird arm pain had me up early. It’s being a real pain in the a……arm. Anyway, we got there early because Christine & Mandi were going to head out at 7:30 to get a jump on everyone. They were both walking it.
So as I am getting ready to start I came up with a plan. Start at the back. Go out slow. Average about 9:00 miles. And shoot for sub 1:30 if possible.
Without much fanfare we started. I began to ease my way through the pack and was feeling pretty good. I hit the 1 mile mark at 8:46 pace and the little voice in my head said this:
Okay. No problem. A little fast. You have the non-race race jitters and got a little peppy. Ease it back a notch and just find your happy place.
So I did. And I hit mile two at a 8:10 pace. Cue the little voice:
Hey dipshit. Did you see the number on your watch? Do think there is a chance in hell you will hold that pace? Do you realize this will be the longest you’ve run since you “walked” the Louisiana Marathon last year? Are you frickin’ listening to me? Slow the hell down!
So I did. And I hit miles 3,4,5 at 8:10, 8:11 & 8:11. Man you are going to love my little voice now:
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Dumb ass. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. You’re going to die. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. I can’t wait to see the look on people’s faces as you’re lying on the side of the road. Ha ha ha………………….. You know what? Screw it. You’re here. You’re plan is toast. Just roll with it. I will be there when you crash and burn to tell you I told you so. <silence>
Is that how you get the voices in your head to shut up? Burn them out?
During mile 6 I caught up with Mandi who was still walking. I stopped and chatted for a bit before taking off to find Christine. I ran into her about a mile down the road and walked with her a bit. She was doing great so I took off. Somewhere in the 8 to 9 mile range I began to feel the pace. I was actually going faster now but I was ready to be done.
The last mile was the worst. It was an uphill finish with a finish line you could see for over quarter of a mile. As I was running along with Jacob, a huge buck came crashing out of the woods and crossed the road behind us. That would have left a mark.
I finished, reset my watch and headed back out onto the course to find Christine. Surprisingly and very thankfully, I ran into her about a half mile from the finish. She was running some and was moving pretty well. We ran in and went straight to the beer and jambalaya.
So did I meet my goals? Yes & no. I finished in 1:21:35 which was well under my 1:30 goal. Average pace was around 8:12. But I definitely did not run a slow controlled race.
But the most positive part was that Christine finished the 10 miles and managed to run some! Her race in North Carolina will be 10 miles long. Except it will be on trails with ridiculous climbing. But she has the distance down!
Now I am going to take a nap.