So, today was the big race I've been preparing for now for several weeks. I wish I could report that I improved on my time last year, but sadly I was slower. Today dawned foggy and cool-perfect. I got to bed early last night after a really good dinner-perfect. Got up at 6, had my usual breakfast, and got to Guadalupe half an hour before the race start-perfect.
One of the best moments of the race actually happened before the gun went off. Hubby had triple dog dared me to do something at my next race so of course I had to do it-I waited til everyone was at the start line with just a couple of minutes to go, and in a loud voice I asked "Does anyone here have a cigarette I can bum? Anyone?" Boy, did I get some horrified stares. Most people realized immediately it was a joke, but honestly, there were a few people there who maybe need to get a sense of humor. Seriously.
So the gun goes off, we take off, with me at the back of the pack where I belong. And I'm really paying attention to my pace because I would like to be at least a little faster than last year when I barely managed an 11 minute pace. All is well the first 7 miles or so. I start to slow down around mile 8 or 9. Then I pretty much completely bonked at mile 10. I could give you all sorts of excuses for the bonkage. There was a pretty stiff wind the last 3 miles-the kind that makes you feel like you aren't making any progress forward even though you're running. And I got a side stitch that just wouldn't go away. I tried deep breathing, walking a little, slowing way down; nothing worked so I just ran really slow and toughed it out.
The biggest thing I learned from this race-maybe I shouldn't have done the speed work. Maybe I should have stuck to a plan that had no speed work and more mileage. I felt undertrained and obviously the speed work didn't make me any speedier. I still want to do speed work, but more to improve shorter races. Anyway, I'm taking 2 days off (maybe 3) and I have lots of time to figure it out. I'm still learning.
Oh, and Hubby actually got involved as a volunteer, sort of by being in the right place at the right time. The course has 1 road we have to cross and last year the CHP was there for traffic control. They didn't make it this year so the volunteers had to leave the water table to stop traffic so we could cross. So, anyway, Hubby drove over to the road to get pictures of me, and while he was waiting he saw they needed a little help so he started doing the water table thing-pretty cool, huh!
And I'm happy to report that I did not take last place honors this year. I was next to last.