I decided that I wouldn't kill myself like I seem to do in 10ks. For whatever reason... a 10k is like a deathrace for me. I've only ran a handful of them (all last summer) and they all completely and utterly kicked my ass. So, being that this race was only 1.2 miles shorter than those shitty ass 10ks... I wasn't expecting an easy race. I will admit though... I was kinda, sorta expecting to place in my age division. I mean.. it's a little tougher than your standard 5k (distance-wise) and with the field being smaller... I thought, the chances were pretty solid to eek out a 2nd or 3rd place finish.
The race course was actually partially familiar to me. It's part of a 21 mile Nashville Striders Training Run that I did last spring. And, it's a gorgeous race course. Rolling hills of farmland (well, except for that stretch through a nice neighborhood), the dew glistening in the early morning sun (ok, I better stop now before this turns into a Gordon Lightfoot song).
I ran pretty easy initially. And I was soooo sooooo soooo glad that I wore my headphones for this race. Because with the hills and the longer distance... dudes everywhere were breathing heavy. And that just gets on my nerves and gets my head out of the game so easily. I just cranked my music up until I lost the dudes. Perfect.
The biggest hill was right at the finish. Right around Mile 4.5. And it was a killer, but I just chugged up it, breathing deep and passing runners. Right at the finish I passed a girl that I thought might be in my age group (come to find out... she wasn't), but I wound up with a time of 43:42 which is 8:45 pace. I was actually really happy with that time. I kinda just told myself that I wanted to finish under 45 minutes, but I wasn't going to knock myself out to do so. But 43:42 was really good for me, especially considering those hills.
Vandy-Montana had already finished (of course) and ended up with sub 8:00/mile pace. Between the two of us... one of us had to place in our age division, right? So, of course... I made him stick around for the awards.
Turns out... I missed 3rd place by 14 seconds. 14 Seconds!!!! That's the closest margin I've ever been nudged out by. Dammit. That's the only drawback to chip-timing... that your competition isn't necessarily right in front of you.
Vandy-Montana didn't win either... But, he does get the award for having the coolest pic from the race...
photo courtesy of Elly Foster, Nashville Stiders Photographer.
Forget the fact that he's getting schooled by a 12 year old kid, here... How many people get their picture taken alongside a running hot dog? That damn hot dog kid was so cute! When he passed me about a half mile into the race, I couldn't help but crack up that I was getting passed by a little squirt in a hot dog costume. Incidentally, he did end up winning his age division. You go, Hot Dog Boy!
So, while neither Vandy-Montana or I schooled bitches Saturday morning... I didn't walk away a complete loser.