(Picture on the right is the site you see as you come into Eakins Oval and the last quarter mile of the race. Picture was taken 2 days before the race. )
It was a beautiful morning to run a race. Ideal weather conditions. Cool with no wind. I was excited to do the race from the start. I got up early. Got down there early. Plenty of time to do the potty line dance. Even ran into a kindergarten/grade school/high school friend of mine in the starting corral I was in. It was going to be good day.
My objective really was to take it easy. I knew I was going to go out somewhat strong but wanted to settle in with a 9:00/9:30 pace. And, I was right. The first three miles were around 8:30 per mile. And, I was feeling good. Very willing to back down and I did. Finally, after four miles, I settled into a target pace.
At around mile six, my right hip started to bother me. What the...? I was slowing down a bit but still within pace. I wanted to hit the seven mile mark at around 1 hour. Yep. Did that. But, what's up with this hip pain? I never had this before. And, then the leg cramps started. So, I had to back off some more.
And, right around mile 10, yes, the furthest I had done for training up to that point, is when the wheels really started to come off. Both hips were hurting. Both legs were cramping. And, now, my left foot was developing blisters on the two small toes. I felt like I was back in the old days when I didn't know how to prep for this race.
I kept on telling myself that this was no surprise. And, it is STILL just part of my training. All I'm doing is running around Lake Galena twice except I'm doing it with 12,000 other people beside me. Well, mainly in front of me.
And, in truth, I did convince myself this was all true. I wasn't upset with myself. I wasn't kicking myself. I started to do a walk/run and kind of enjoyed the experience of just being part of a huge crowd of runners. I looked at my watch and realized that there was no way to finish under 2 hours. And, what's the difference if I finished in 2:01 or 2:04 at this point? And, seriously, it was a beautiful day.
I finished the race in 2:04:19. This was my sixth PDR and it was my third fastest time. I ran a good 10k. And learned a lot about where am I at for the half in Canada in the last 10k. I also learned that I need to be a bit more focus on prepping for a race, training run, walking about town even and not take it for granted. Can't just mail it in. Now, if only my hips would stop hurting.