2010 started an awful lot like 2009 started: with a 7.5 mile road race first thing on New Years Day. Except unlike last year, I waited until the very last minute to decide whether or not to run this race.
The decision was made at about 8 AM on 1/1/2010 when my running friend Shawn called to first yell at me for still being asleep and then to continue our debate from the day before on why we should or should not run. He was just getting over a cold. I had just run 5 miles the day before. The weather was ok and the park where the race was held was a nice place to run. Pros and cons, hems and haws, we eventually decided to go for it.
And so 2010 began.
After scrounging up something to wear, I did what any girl would do before a big run and made a green smoothie for breakfast.
But given our last minute decision to do this race and lots of rushing around to get my act in gear and get out the door, said green smoothie was consumed in the car on the way there.
Shawn drove, if that wasn’t obvious.
We got the park and made our way to the start with plenty of time to spare.
And spent a little time studying the course map while waiting in the registration line.
Last year my time for this 7.5 mile race was 1:02, making my average pace 8:22 per mile. I was fairly confident that Alison 2010 could kick some Alison 2009 ass. Given I ran a fast 7 in early November at a 7:50 pace, I was hopeful I might squeak in under an hour this year. Beating last years time was my primary goal, coming in under an hour was secondary.
The roads were wet but not icy. The air temp was about 35 and it was snowing giant fluffy flakes.
The race started promptly at 10:00 and we were very close to the front, which meant we kind of got swept up with the fastest runners and their subsequent fast pace.
I’ve got mad photoshop skillz yo.
When hit the first mile at 7:20, I was hopeful I might be able to stay under 8:00 the entire race. But what I failed to remember was just how damn hilly this course was. My average pace had dropped to 7:40 by the second mile and into the 8:00’s for every mile there after.
Shawn and I had tentatively planned to stick together, but ended up separating because he was feeling the effects of his lingering cold. After being told three times to go on without him, I held on to my pace and eventually pulled ahead. With no partner or iPod, I spent the next 6 miles lost in thought, enjoying the peaceful snow fall and the gentle pounding of sneakers on pavement around me.
By mile 4 I was feeling pretty tired and realized that I probably would have felt better if I would have actually prepared for this race instead of deciding to run it 2 hours before the start. Hey Alison 2010, maybe a couple days off before the race would have been a good idea? Just a suggestion.
My time at mile 6 was 48:00. With a mile and a half to go, I knew there was no way I coming in under an hour without a miracle or a very strong tailwind. I managed to gather some strength and picked up the pace at mile 7 for the last half mile to cross the finish line in 1:00:49, making my average pace 8:06 per mile.
Definitely not the best run or race ever, but still a nice way to start out the new year and I was at least pleased to have beat Alison circa 2009.
Maybe Alison 2011 will put a little more thought into this race if she decides to do it again next year? Here’s hoping.