I was very tired yesterday after work and had some commitments to keep so I was up until about 11 P.M. (really late for my hard-partying life!). I knew I had the race this morning and was worried that I had blown it. I woke up still not feeling 100% so I just figured I would use this race as my weekly long run and take it easy. Oh and did I mention that it was still FREAKING COLD here! I checked the weather last night and it forecast 35-40 degrees for 9 AM which was the race start time so I put out my favorite running shorts and a long sleeve shirt. Well when Willie got up this morning at 7 it was f*$&ing 14 degrees! I had to find running tights (sorry for the visual of Willie in tights) and my running pants. Then I had to decide what to do about a top. Since the race was a 25K I didn't want to wear my extremely warm Brooks running jacket because I knew I would be roasting by half way. I ended up wear two long sleeve running shirts instead. I really hate running in pants since I only have a pair from my high school days and they look shabby. I refuse to running in just tights because it shows off a little too much of little Willie if you know what I mean. I know some guys can do that but not me. I really want to find some nice sort-a tight running pants, I have seen them on people at races I just can't seem to find them in the stores.
The race was moved from it's normal location at Lake Hefner (wonderful wonderful wonderful running track around a lake) to Lake Draper which I had never been to. Turns out that was a blessing since the winds were really kicking at Hefner and Draper had no wind to speak of. Did I mention it was FREAKIN COLD! Thank God for no wind or else Willie may have kept is arse at home.
I only saw 1 friend from the running club before the start. I won't mention her name here but she is a really great runner. She has done a number of marathons and I think her best is a 3:15. She doesn't know it but she has been my running hero for some time. She was there with her boyfriend who also runs and is a great guy. I have run with him before on some of our training runs. I can't keep up with her.
I started the race like I wanted, at a nice easy pace. The course had some rolling hills and started on a slight uphill. I settled into a nice 8:10 pace for the first couple miles and met someone I had always seen but never spoken too. We had a nice conversation and he is really a nice guy. I went through mile 3 at 24:08 so I must have picked up the pace somewhere along the way. I felt great and was running upright with great form (thank you Pilates). We ran across a dam for mile 4 and it was really pretty. I caught a picture for you.
I made it through the next miles running right at 8 minute pace. This was an out and back course so we started seeing some of the leaders coming back at us. They were flying! Mostly college kids but man were they good. There was a pack of 3 at the front with 1 more trailing not far behind. I wish I could have seen the finish, I bet it was exciting.
Once I hit the half way point at about mile 8 I decided to kick it in alittle. My Garmin shows the following mile times:
mile 6 - 8:00
mile 7 - 7:45
mile 8 - 7:40
mile 9 - 7:34
At about mile 9 I noticed a female ahead of me that I knew from the running club training runs. I had never met her but she was really cute so I decided to try and catch her. It was harder than I thought, she was really fast. I did catch her at about mile 13 and she was very talkative for someone that was running that fast. I, on the other hand, had just spent the last 4 miles trying to catch her and was really beginning to wear down. Needless to say I was not suave'. Oh well, impressing women has never been my strong point. She didn't hit me and call me a bastard so I count that as a successful first impression. Anyhoo, I was coming down to the end of the race and was tired but really keeping good form and maintaining pace. I was getting excited, this is the longest I have ever run at a good pace. I was really beginning to think I can do this running stuff! My splits for the next miles were:
mile 10 - 7:34
mile 11 - 7:36
mile 12 - 7:33
mile 13 - 7:35
mile 14 - 7:39
mile 15 - 7:32
I finished in 2:01:29!!!!! Holy crap, almost under 2 hours for 15.5 miles. I have run a half marathon in 1:40 but have never run anything longer than that at anything close to that pace. I was so happy! A day that I thought was lost turned out to be pretty cool. My leg didn't hurt at all but I did take some pain killers before the race. I PROMISE to cut down on them this week though.
Thanks for listening