Today, John and I ran the Halloween Haunting 5K and 10K, respectively, in Springbank Park. The short version of the story: it was excellent!
John was almost certain that he would PR, though he wasn't sure by how much. We huddled together until it was time for the 5K to start, since it was about 40 degrees, cloudy, and really windy. The forecast called for rain, so we brought a beach towel to use after the race. But I ended up walking around with it wrapped on my head until the 5K was over. John said I looked like I'd decided to dress up as a Muslim for Halloween - if Muslims cover their heads with beach towels with dogs printed on them.
I think the Boston Pizza mascot faked its own death to get out of running in the 2K fun run with the kiddies. Here he is getting up, after a few minutes laying lifeless on the ground.
After I watched the kiddies do the fun run, the first 5K finishers started coming in. I tried to get some photos of his finish, though it was tough to operate the camera with frozen, numb fingers.
I met John after the finish and confirmed that he had PR'd, with a time of 21:48!
Then it was my turn to take off my fleece, warm pants, gloves, and dog-towel head covering, and become the IU cheerleader I've always wanted to be. I called to John before the start that my costume belonged to a faster runner, i. e., someone who would spend less time on the course than me.
John got some good pics of me at the half way point, and I tried to show some school spirit.
During the weeks since the half marathon, I'd just been easing off the mileage, trying to do my physio exercises, and running about 1 long run per week of about 7-8 miles. The 10k distance has sort of been a thorn in my side, since I've never been able to go under an hour, despite good training. It's always taught me that race day can be unpredictable: weather, injuries, a cold, all things that have kept me from running this distance as fast as I wanted. Last week, John and I both had nasty colds, and I only ran about 5 miles for the whole week - blech. I figured that this race was just for fun, and I didn't want to worry about my time.
But like any normal (re: crazy runner) person, I wrote down the splits for a 59:50 finish, and decided to see how I felt when I got to the race.
Today, I think the odds were really in my favor. I just focused on one KM at a time and tried to hit the split I'd written out for myself, and for the most part, it worked really well. It was a challenging pace by the end, but I felt like I could hang in there. By about the 5K mark, I started running with this other women about my age, wearing devil horns. She and I hung together and agreed to try to finish under and hour. When we rounded the final corner and the finish line was in sight, she said, "I'm sorry," and started to pull away. I told her not to be sorry and cheered for her to go on. I thought I could probably hit the last marker without her.
And I was right! The clock time was ahead of my watch by about 20 seconds, so the display looked as though I finished right on 60 minutes.
But the chip time was the same as my watch: 59:38!
So let that be a lesson: when trying to PR, pretend you don't care, lay in bed sick for 8 days, wear something freezing, and it'll totally happen!
I remembered while piecing this costume together that I once had another IU cheerleader costume. In case you happened to miss its appearance on facebook:
Based on the (fantastic) haircut, I'm guessing that's from 1989. Win.
After the race, we used a buy one-get one free coupon I had for the Alibi and had diner-style breakfast food. Eating at places like that really hits the spot after a race!
And, side note:
Yesterday I decided to eat a big bowl of leftover spaghetti for lunch (add that to my perfect pre-race prep list). The noodles were cooked but plain, so I decided to throw on some salt, pepper, and parm for toppings. Then I remembered that we are cellaring my green tomatoes, and I went to check on them. Turns out, it totally worked! I got about 5 medium-small tomatoes for this pasta, which I just cut and threw into the pot with the noodles while they heated up. They still have that fresh, summery taste. I have three more small ones that still need to ripen up, so I'm hoping that the same magic happens to them. Cellaring tomatoes! Who knew?!