As I mentioned in my preview, all within about a five day period I discovered the Run for the Water, registered for the race, and, since then, ran the race. With respect to my training plan for San Antonio, this week I was supposed to run a tune-up race between 8 and 10 kilometers the day before my 16 mile long run. What did I do? A 10 mile (16 km) race the day after my long run. Same difference. So with this change of schedule, how did it all go?
It was a better-than-perfect 54 degrees and not a cloud in the sky (I think, since the sun hadn’t risen yet). As everyone started lining up the mood was relaxed, except for one lady who started to spaz because she forgot her Gu. I could only think to myself “who needs a Gu for a 10 mile race?” Later on I’d come to find she finished before me, so I guess she knew what she was doing. Anyway, having run 16 miles the day before I didn’t have high expectations. Maybe a 7:30 min/mi for an overall time of 1:15 would be a solid, attainable goal. Yes, let’s go with that.
Well, much like the Hottest Half Marathon, any plan for pacing goes out the window when the gun goes off, and I don’t know why*. My first mile was an intimidating 6:59, leaving me wondering what sort of crash-and-burn lay ahead. I didn’t do a particularly good job reviewing the course ahead of time other than reading that there were some hills somewhere along the course, so that was in the back of my mind. All that aside, I wasn’t about to slow things down, and I think you know why*. I missed the second mile marker because it was somewhere on a hill, since all I could think of was what other hills were plotting their ambush.
The total for miles 2 and 3 came out to 14:12, coming out to a little over 7 minutes each. I came to accept that I’d slow down a little and fall into a rhythm, and I was fine that. Remember, 7:30 min/mi was my goal. So, imagine my surprise when mile 4 pops up at 6:51. I should say at this point, thanks to the cool weather, I felt like I was working, but still within my limits. That’s not to say things were easy. It was about this time that I devised a plan to help distract me
from the strain in my legs and lungs: I made it a point to say “good morning” to every officer directing traffic (a lot more than you’d expect!) and every spectator (a lot fewer than you’d expect!). Everyone seemed to appreciate it — especially one guy who told me I was “number one”.
After cruising through mile 5, I was finally confronted with the hills. To this point there had been a slope here or there, but nothing staggering. Out of nowhere came the formidable hills I’d been fretting about. They were tough, but I actually felt a boost as I passed other runners who slowed way down. Also helpful was my “good morning” plan, which really took my mind off.
As the miles wore on I had to concentrate more on the effort, which meant I had to think of other ways to distract myself. Sort of a “watched pot” situation — the more I think about it, the harder it gets. So… not really like a “watched pot” at all. Anyway, my next tactic was to target someone in front of me and plan
my ambush how to beat them. That helped take my mind off, but it also inadvertently forced me to speed up. Clearly I wasn’t thinking, er, clearly.
The final three miles went to the tune of 6:43, 6:30, 6:24. That’s pretty good in my book. By the time I crossed the finish line I was spent. Overall time: 1:08:06, nearly 7 full minutes faster than my goal. Being a numbers guy, I had to see what my 6:48 min/mile pace would be if I held it for a half marathon or, dare I say, a full marathon. Oh boy, that’s a 1:29:08 half and a, yikes, 2:58:17 full. I think we’re a long way off from any such crazy talk, but it was fun to think about. Without question the 2010 Run for the Water is a great race for a great cause. Sign me up for next year!
Finally, not to be overlooked, particularly since this blog dabbles in the food scene, was the post-race refueling options. For a smaller race, I was impressed with the spread: bananas, apples, Whataburger breakfast tacos, bottles of Honey Milk, locally roasted coffee, Halloween candy, bottled water, ham and cheese pizza rolls (?), and granola bars.
|2010 Run for the Water|
|Overall Place||63 / 1021 (6.17%)|