When I woke up on Sunday morning, I had no clear goal for the race. I thought about running it easy. I even thought about running it in my Forrest Gump costume. My PR was 2 hours, 0 minutes, and 16.9 seconds from two years ago, and I did think that I could probably break it without too much difficulty.
So I thought I'd try to break 2 hours, and so it probably wouldn't be comfortable to run in costume. But then I thought, as long as I'm not going to run in costume, why don't I just Rock and Roll like nobody ever has before? Why don't I lace up my golden shoes with my golden laces and blow everybody's minds? Why don't I shock the world and run like a great and magestic golden firebird? Why not? Why don't I put on my shoes and fly? I'm fit like never before. And so, I was determined... This day, my feets would inspire the world. Who knows, I might even break the 50th percentile in my age group!
The first part of the race, I was trying to run on pace for 2 hours even. I had my GPS with me, so I knew the first few miles were right on pace. Before too long, I was seeing splits around 8:40, and I'm pretty bad at judging my pace, but I can usually tell if the level of effort is something I can stand for a given amount of time. It didn't seem too difficult, so I decided to stick with that level of effort. I didn't consciously pick up speed, but some of the later miles, around 8-9, I saw a couple splits around 8:00 and one at 7:44, and I thought there might be something wrong with my watch - but the distances were consistent with the mile markers.
It was around this time that I was finishing up my second loop, and I had a prime viewing location to see Sean Wade cross the finish line in front. I'm happy to say that I didn't get lapped - I was about 2 seconds away from it, but it didn't happen. I saw him again around mile 11 marker as he was warming down, and congratulated him, he told me "Keep it up. Two to go." He was accurate, there was about 2 miles to go, and the time was 1:34 - 16 minutes away from a 1:50 half marathon. That was something I hadn't really considered as a possibility before the race. I thought I might be able to handle a 1:55 if I had a good day. I reallocated a small amount of sugar to my brain to crunch the numbers, and I saw that if I had a couple more 7:40's I could break 1:50. So I beared down, did my EQ impression, and I ran the last two in 7:41 and 7:35. I crossed the finish line at 1:49:35.7 with a 10+ minute PR, and I was probably the most surprised person in the city.
It's a very good race, and doing multiple loops isn't bad like I thought it would be. It's kind of nice to get to see everybody multiple times. And I like the fact that it's the inaugural half marathon, I always wanted to get in on the ground floor of a race and run it every year.
It was a good day. And did you see my friends Linda and Brenda from the CLFC? They were the two fabulous babes in bikini's cheering everybody on, I looked forward to seeing them every lap.
It was good to see everybody again. It seems like it's been a long time. Jen, Holden, Jessica, June, Jon, Edwin, Vic, Steve, Joe, Bill - you guys ROCK! And I saw Lisa out there briefly, but I was running and didn't realize it was her until too late, and Erin cheering me on each lap as well - thanks E. Where was Barbara? and JD & J? I guess I missed them, I assume they still ROCK!, but I can't be sure since I didn't see them directly.
Listening to: Sponge - Molly (Sixteen candles down the drain.)