Uncle Sam, aka Emma, wishes you a happy 4th of July.
It was definitely nice to have the day off work. I ran the Bluegrass 10,000 this morning, a local 10K road race. I really enjoy this distance (6.2 miles) - it is more challenging than a 5k, but not as challenging as a mini-marathon. My goal was to finish in 60:00 minutes, and I crossed the finish line in 58:50. When I crossed the first mile mark, I heard one of the race volunteers shouting the times, "13:20, 13:25, 13:30, etc." I nearly died...13 minutes?!? There were so many kids and walkers that it was really hard to keep a good, steady pace - and constantly dodging around people really saps your energy. I knew that if I wanted to reach my 1 hour goal, I would have to maintain at the most a 10 minute pace.
Luckily, it began to thin out a little bit and I was able to actually run in a straight line. Miles 2-6 went by very quickly and I felt strong through the whole race. And, best of all, I was able to maintain a 9 minute pace for the last five miles. At about mile 3 I caught up with a group of running superheroes - there were 2 people dressed up as SuperMan, 1 person dressed as Wonder Woman, and 1 patriotic Uncle Sam. We were running at about the same pace for the next few miles and while I knew the cheers and claps and shouts of joys from the spectators were for them and not me, it felt nice to bask in their glory for a while. While 9 minute miles are definitely not lightning fast, it's a pretty good clip for me. I did all of my training for the mini-marathon at a 10 minute pace. My goal was to train for the marathon at a 9:30 pace, but 9:00 felt so good today that I am thinking about bumping up my training goals.
But perhaps the greatest moment of the morning came after the race, as I was walking back to my car. I passed a homeless woman on the street who looked harmless, but as I got closer to her she looked me dead in the eye and said, "You're not supposed to run, you asshole." Yes, I was shocked. My eyes widened a little, but other than that, I put my head down and kept walking - I did not want to tango with this lady.
After the race I headed home, took Emma on a leisurely walk, and then Chad and I headed to Wilmore. We had quite a meal with our good friends - smoked chicken, baked beans, potato salad, deviled eggs, taco soup, and some amazing homeade ice cream. Five hours later, I still feel like I could burst.
Well, it's after 8:00pm, it's stormy and my pillow is beckoning me. I want to get my rest tonight because tomorrow will be a late night, as we are catching Into Great Silence, a documentary on monks. It is a 3 hour, near-silent film, and I am looking forward to the part where they observe one of the monks talking fondly with cats.
I just checked the race results page from the Bluegrass 10k and my chip time as actually 56:22! It took a few minutes to cross the starting line, so that's why when I crossed the finish line the time read 58:50. I was happy to beat my goal by 2 minutes (really 1:10), but now I am even more proud that I beat it by 4 minutes!