2008 was ushered in with much noise and fireworks. I had crawled into bed around 10 pm but didn't get to sleep until the noise subsided around 1:30. This cause much internal debate when the alarm went off at 5 am. I felt like I had just gotten to sleep and now I was going to get up and run a 10k. What?!?!?! Am I crazy?!?!?!? Apparently so, because after a 15 minute argument with myself I found myself standing in the bathroom brushing my teeth. Okay, I can see where this is headed. I was a little later than I wanted to be so I rushed to get ready and get out the door.
This race was a show up sign up and I had no cash at all. The first 2 ATM's I stopped at were out of money. I was beginning to think maybe I shouldn't do this. But the 3rd ATM forked over the dough so I guess the race was on. I got to the start, got signed in, got my number (28 - think that means something?) and found my boss. This race is literally in her backyard so she decided to do it too. We chatted for a few minutes then it was time to start.
I seeded myself near the back of the pack since it was an uphill start and I knew I was going to start slow. I quickly found myself bringing up the rear. I didn't have a problem with that. This is a very small race. They probably had 60-75 people today and it was their best turnout. The folks who showed up are the hardcore runners. So I did not feel bad at all being DFL. I just kept trucking.
The first 3/4's of a mile is a slow, gradual uphill. I went really slow here because I've learned that I have to start slow and get my breathing under control or else it all goes to hell. We then turned a corner and the next 1/2 mile is a fairly steep uphill. I have this trick I do going uphill where I lower my head so that I can only see right in front of me, the brim of my hat blocks any further view. I run like this uphill so that I don't know how far the uphill is. Generally I do this and when I do breakdown and look up, I'm much closer to the top of the hill then I thought I would be. So, down went the head and up the hill I ran.
Then there's a 2/3's of a mile very steep downhill. This hill is called Heartbreak Hill locally because in bike races it really kicks your butt. I must say, I'm pretty good at downhill running. I lean slightly forward and let gravity do most of the work. This not only allows me to go faster downhill but takes the pressure off my thighs so I don't end up in agony the next day. At the bottom of this hill we turned the corner and began another gradual incline.
This lasted for 3/4's of a mile and then we hit a steep hill for a 1/4 of a mile. Then it was downhill to the turn around point. We then had to run that course backwards.
Overall I am very pleased with how I did. I did walk twice on the steep uphill parts, but that's all and only for a short period. I felt great the entire way and I was able to give a little kick at the end. My time was 1:22 and the distance was actually 6.3 miles. So I had a pace of 13 minutes/mile. Not too shabby for a 10k. This was my longest distance yet and one of the hardest 10k's on the island. So I'm very proud of myself. It was a great confidence booster.
2008 is off to a great start. Oh, and I didn't finish DFL. There were 4 people behind me :)
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