Yes, that is a PR.
Yes, that is a sub-60 10K time.
YES, I WILL STOP BITCHING ABOUT THE SUB-60 10K PR THING NOW.
But, No, I'm not 100% satisfied with that time and I'll tell you why with a few carefully worded *s.
Though, before I go off on one of my patented rants, I want to first say that this was a great race for me. I felt excellent. My legs felt strong, I felt like a gazelle even though I looked like a wildebeest, my race pace was its best yet and I got that fucking :30 second monkey off my back which has been haunting me for two long and dark weeks.
HOORAY. But more on that warm fuzzy crap later.
You'll recall that I recently adjusted my training route so that I could avoid as many traffic lights as possible so that I could train to run a consistent distance because, "you know they don't usually throw in an 8 lane, 4 way stop light at miles 2.5, 4 and 6.1, now do they."
And then we all had a good laugh at my expense because what kind of fucking idiot am I that I didn't realize this flaw in my training regimen was holding me back to the tune of at least 30 seconds. Hahaha, I'm such a retard and such.
Well, it turns out that SOMETIMES THEY DO. Stop people in the middle of the race to allow traffic to pass.
Enter, the Workday Devil Mountain 10K and its impressively bad traffic management.
See, half of the 10K route traveled a busy street. Which they had strategically marked off with cones and retired policemen of questionable cognitive skills and physical ability directing the errant motorist by way of orange flags and colorful hand gestures.
We ran this first half of the race unencumbered by the passing traffic and, despite the rolling hills on the purported "flat and fast course", all was fine in the world of Finny. According to Garmin, I was traveling at a respectable 9:20 pace and singing along to Volbeat. Swears and all. I was even allowing myself to be amused by the runners around me (hand carrying two bottles of water PLUS a hydration belt? For 6 miles? Are we in the Sahara?) and charmed by the man who was waiting for his wife at every mile marker (Sweet man. He barely looked annoyed).
Then the course took a sharp turn down the Iron Horse Trail, which is a fancy name for a concrete pathway that cuts between two blah subdivisions. Not super scenic, but whatever.
I actually quite enjoyed this trot down this trail given its gentle downward sloping grade and the fact that the weather was trying really hard to be perfect, until such time as we began to approach road crossing #2.
Let it be known that the Iron Horse Trail crosses over roads that, I assume, lead up into the subdivisions that sit perched on the sun-blasted hills of the East Bay, and traveling along the trail as we did, required three separate crossings.
Based on crossing #1, I had no reason to believe that there would be any issue with the forthcoming crossings, but I would be sorely mistaken when I came within about 100 yards of crossing #2 and a confused looking young man wearing a safety vest and carrying one of the aforementioned orange flags began lightly jogging toward us murmuring, "Slow down, please."
Thinking he was surely joking and OH HA HA HA he's trying to get us into the spirit of the race by using the good old reverse psychology trick so that we all just race our little hearts out, I laughed (really) and picked up the pace.
Hey - I'm game for a some gentle chiding on a good day! Plus, I felt strong and, like, why not boost my pace a bit. Good show, lad!
I also became British for a moment which was weird.
But then I came upon crossing #2 where much traffic had built up on either side of the road and Retired Sheriff Crabby Ass was trying to block runners' paths by waving his orange flag uselessly and yelling, "Stop! You have to stop for the traffic!"
Not only was I now traveling at a slightly faster pace with my new found motivation thanks to Mr. Jolly Good Time back there, but I was becoming pretty sure that I was going to nail my sub-60 time and had ZERO intention on stopping or slowing down for any. single. thing.
Even if that single thing was a Camry with a ferocious Indian woman behind the wheel.
So I, as did the gentle trotting souls around me, gave Sheriff Out of His Mind our own versions of the finger and proceeded to sprint ever so quickly through the crossing, knowing we were all a part of an event that everyone in the neighborhood would be bitching about because OH WOE IS US we had to sit comfy in our cars for a few extra minutes while some runners sweated by before our very eyes.
Now, I don't know if this orange flag-waver every succeeded in stopping any of the runners, but during the moment when I believed I might be creamed by the white Camry revving its engine behind the flag like a bull in a ring, I did hit the Stop on my watch so that I could record actual running time rather than Time Spent Running And Then Sometimes Waiting for Grocery Shoppers To Return Home With Donuts.
I didn't actually stop running at any point, but I did slow down some and then immediately hit Start again as soon as it became clear that my specially honed traffic dodging skills had prepared me perfectly for this moment of racing.
And that is why there's an * next to my time waaaaaaaaaay back up there at the beginning of this post. Because, according to my Garmin, my finish time was 58:04, but according to the race's chip time, which did NOT account for the traffic stop, it was 58:15.
I'm going to go with the good old, WHAT-ever on that one and move on to the warm fuzzy stuff because, at the end of the day, I killed my sub-60 10K goal time and got to come home without aching kidneys.
Which brings me to the highlights of this race which I'll bullet out all concise-like for those of you who don't want long-winded recountings of my mornings' adventures. Boo on you.
- I wore my new shorts and they were groovy.
- I went against the rule I just said I should never go against and tried out a new thing on race day, but it was OK because it was just one of those sweat-wicking hats and it was also groovy.
- I fueled perfectly for this race by eating a Luna bar on the drive out to the race (about 45 mins) and taking in about 8 oz of iced tea (Don't judge. I require caffeine.) I also had some water before the race started while I sat with Bubba at Country Waffles and watched him order biscuits and gravy because he's a cock.
I had the eggs benedict. HA! No.Can you imagine? Yarf.
- Super Big Highlight: There was a Country Waffles at the 5K/10K race split and Bubba snagged a patio table so that he could see me off from behind an enormous breakfast. I hear he made many friends in the 5K crowd as he offered them bacon strips as they rounded the corner.
Us on the 10K course were offered nothing.
- I did a quick warm up trot from the restaurant to the truck and back to fetch some forgotten items and I think this actually helped me get the snaps out of my ankles and the rest of my body in the general running mood. I think I shall try this again.
Now that I have my sub-60 10K and sub-30 5K times safely stowed in my Active profile, I can start thinking about other things. Things that involve bikes, ropes, packs and starlit walks off a cliff.
At least I won't have to deal with too many traffic lights.