First of all, huge props to Candis for crushing her previous PR by over 6 minutes with a time of 58:52 and easily achieving her goal of a sub 60 minute 10K. She rocked it. When I realized that I wasn’t going to make my goal I started rejoicing vicariously for Candis’ PR because I knew that she was going to get it. I was more confident going into this race that Candis would PR than I was that I would PR. This is why I decided that the winner of our bet should have to sleep with the loser, because then I win even if I lose, which I did. The agreed upon time deduction that Candis received was 10 minutes, which means that Candis beat me by nearly 5 full minutes. I’m so proud of her, but that’s really quite enough happiness for this post.
We awoke on race morning to cloudy, overcast skies, temperatures in the low 50s and a 92% chance of suckage. It was perfect racing weather which is unfortunate because there’s one more excuse that I can’t use for my suckitude. Candis and I got split up when I went to the pre-race bag check and she had to go drop a pre-race deucer. (I mention this because I imagine that telling you about her bowel movements takes some of the bloom off the rose of her awesome race and when I’m down I like to drag as many others down with me as possible.) We never found each other before the start of the race and Candis ended up going out in the wave ahead of me.
My pacing strategy was to attempt 8 minute miles the entire way allowing myself to lose some time on the uphill miles and hoping to gain some time back on the downhill sections of the course. When I turned in an 8:10 first mile and felt winded I knew that I might be in trouble. My mile 2 split came in at 8:28 but it was one of the tougher miles on the course and I was still hoping to make up time on the downhill sections of miles 4 and 5. With that in mind I tried to save some energy on mile 3 and posted an 8:48 mile.
I started the 4th mile with a bang, charging down 19th street with steely resolve. I was going to make up the minute and 26 seconds that I was behind, or at the very least get back onto pace to set a new PR. I could not be stopped, I floated down the downhill sections like a gazelle and I attacked the uphill sections like a crazy man. Like Forrest Gump, I. Was. Running. As I dashed up Casey Hill (the highest point of the course) I crossed the 4 mile mark and checked my Garmin for my split: 8:44. 8:44? Are you freaking kidding me? That was at least a 7:25 mile! It certainly felt like a 7:25 mile. I cursed my Garmin and had I not been so exhausted I would have probably chucked it into the side of a building but that sounded like too much effort.
I kept an even effort for the 5th mile and posted another 8:44 mile. A few quick calculations brought the realization that not only was I not going to make my goal, but I wasn’t even going to PR. OK, so there was nothing quick about my calculations, the math probably took me 2 minutes. I began to think about Candis, who I had passed somewhere in the 2nd mile. I thought about waiting for her and pacing her to the finish, but really that would have just been an excuse to stop and rest. I hoped and hoped that she would get her sub 60 minute time so that she wouldn’t have to run the final mile the way I was running it. I decided not to kill myself on the final mile and I’m OK with that decision. I rounded out my race with a half-fast 9:03 mile and a final time of 53:50. Disappointing to say the least. I drowned my sorrows in free Michelob Ultra before heading to a Memorial Day BBQ where I continued drowning them in... well to be honest I don’t remember all the specifics of how I drowned them, I just know that I did. It turned out to be a good day anyway.