Goal: Run a 10k at Marathon Pace (6:10)
Actual: Pretty much that (6:08 pace) for 38:13
Well this was a mediocre race for me. For all intents and purposes, John and I made the trek up to Huntersville in the hopes of winning a cash prize. To our defense, the website leading up to the night before the race had publicized "cash prizes" for top three overall finishers, and Ben Hovis recollected how he took home some cash in 2009. After a 3 mile warmup, John and I showed up in all-out racing gear at the start line and discovered rather quickly that we were in the minority. We spotted Allen Strickland at the starting line, and he even referred to losing out on the opportunity "to win money." We smiled and continued our strides.
Other than the cash, the other motivation for me running this race was to get in a solid workout. I had a 60 minute progression tempo on the calendar, but opted for a race of that effort at the 10k distance. I figured that by running the race, I'd still be achieving the goal of a hard effort.
At the starting line, John and I scoped out his competition. It turned out to be a triathlete wearing a plaid shirt and a mullet wig. My competition turned out to be a man in a taco costume that seemed particularly uncomfortable to run in. Once the gun went off, we had a solid downhill for the first 400m, and about 10 people sprinted in front of Allen and I.
I felt like the pace was a bit fast, but figured the downhill was the reason. I came through the first mile in 558. I figured the ten people in front of me would fall back. Sure enough, after the second mile (603), I had already passed six of them and would pass the other two after the third mile (601). We ran around the Huntersville Business park and then rounded back out toward the highway. I was familiar with these streets since I had run a tempo here back in September.
Once we got back onto the highway, I only had the taco man to look towards and I passed him at mile 4 (613). After that, it was a race where I was running against myself and I blasted my decision to run this race. I would have had much more fun if I had run with one of my buddies over at McAlpine. Oh well. I kept on trucking, looking at the rear end of the guy 100m in front of me. The fifth (610) and sixth (611) miles were uneventful as I crested the top of a gradual hill and then turned onto the road towards the finish. The entire time down the home stretch, I was amazed at how much easier the last 10k of my marathon felt.
I cruised into the finish in 38:13, where John was waiting for me, and freezing his tush off! He got the win, with a new road PR, just edging out the mullet man. The two of us enjoyed a nice warm down together, and both felt really sore and tired. We saw Allen later, and he ran 42:01, and was upset that he lost to a taco.
In the end, we got a blanket for our endeavors. We waited around while the race directors figured out why these crazy runners thought there was cash prizes. Turns out they had used the "old" website from 2009 up until the night before the race. While it was an honest mistake, it was definitely a letdown. The blanket is very nice, but the $20 gift certificate that the age group winners received would have been an added bonus.
In the end, I realized that about a month after the marathon, it's still hard to recover from workouts and races. It just takes a couple of more days than it typically does, when you don't have a marathon under your belt. I'm ready for this recovery period to get back to normal!
The 2017 Boston Marathon
4 weeks ago