Yesterday morning I ran in the Guthrie Gallop 10K in Sayre, Pa., as I said I was planning to do in an earlier post here. The race had both a 5 and a 10, but I opted for the 10K for a few reasons, including if I was going to pay $20, I might as well get my money’s worth. Another reason was that I ran in an 8-mile trail run the previous weekend, so again I thought it was worth it.
On Friday night, I stayed with my sister and brother-in-law (and their 6-month-old son, and, oh, assorted cats and a dog), who live in the next town over from where the race is. My sister (and nephew) went to a Mexican restaurant the night before, which might not sound like a good idea the day before a race. However, actually it was good. I had steak fajitas with rice (I chose not to have the refried beans), and a margarita. It was very good, and not greasy and too much food like some Mexican restaurants I have been to, at least in our area. It was just right. The only mistake I might have made was having an ice cream cone for dessert at a nearby ice cream place. It was good, but even being a small, it was too large. But other than that, I think I did all right.
I got to bed about 10:30, probably fell asleep about 11:30 after my thoughts settled down, and then got up about 6:30. Registration began at 7:30 and I wanted to make sure I had enough time to get there. I didn’t eat anything until I get there. My sister had told me about a bakery nearby and I thought I’d grab a bagel there. Unfortunately, it was closed for renovations, so I had a granola bar from a convenience store instead along with a water. My sister also brought me a vanilla whey protein shake before the race, which I think helped later. (Thanks, Julie — Sunshine4me at SparkPeople — for the idea of whey for the protein.)
The race began at 9 a.m. The pre-race meeting was short and sweet right before the race. The course was a flat course, around the town, we were told and it turned out to be the case. No surprises here: all streets. The number of runners in the race was about 100 runners, we were told that would be our competition. I knew the competition would be mostly in my head, and it was.
Unfortunately, I lost the competition with myself in the first mile, as I ran it in 9:10, which may not seem too quick for some, but for me, was just a hair too quick for me. I didn’t wear a watch or an iPod, but I did write my split times down right after the race, so I wouldn’t forget. A person was posted at each mile with a stopwatch and gave us the times as we ran by. I began to win the competition with myself in the second mile as I slowed to close to a 10-minute mile and finished the second mile in 19:19. I reached mile 3 by 29:59, or a 10:40/mile for that mile; the fourth mile in 40:40, or a 10:41/mile; the fifth mile in 51:50 or an 11:10/mile, and the 6.2 mile mark by 64:00, or a 10:09/mile.
The final mile was basically a slight downhill incline, and I kicked it into overdrive. At about mile 4, I began running with a woman and a man (the man who fell). At about mile 5 (not that I’m bragging, especially considering that the man had fallen just after mile 4), I passed them and just sprinted, especially the last half mile.
My sister, nephew and mother were waiting for me at the end. My sister got some very good photos of me, including a commercial for PowerAde. My mother had traveled about 40 miles up just to see me in the race, and on the day before Mother’s Day…now that’s what I call a mother. Thanks, Mom.
After the race, I had a couple of waters and PowerAde, then my sister (and nephew — he’s under 1-year-old, so he’ll still be in the parentheses for now, and mother) went out for a late breakfast. I had pancake, eggs, sausage, bacon and rye toast. It really, as one of my friends used to like to say after every time we went out for a meal together, “hit the spot.” It was a good ending to the day.
Main lesson learned: Pace yourself at the beginning. Other lessons: run sans iPod to hear your breathing and so that you can enjoy the Great Outdoors, even if it’s in a town. You also can talk to people (at least, a little — don’t blather on like you do here in your blogs and on your posts at SparkPeople 😉
Edited to add: my wife was unable to attend because she is in training for her EMT certification. The first part of her test is this coming Wednesday, May 16.