I headed off for quick warmup and left Jess standing alone by a playground with my car keys and a cowbell. Man, I thought, she is such a good sport. When I rolled back in I was soaked. Even though the sun wasn't out, the humidity was in full force. Jess hates racing in the heat so I noted that one small brightside for her was that she wouldn't have to fight the weather this particular morning. Though, I'm not sure it helped much. When you're injured, anything is better than not running. As I mentioned, this was a pretty small event (about 120 runners), so after some announcements and thank-yous from the race director, we got a verbal "Ready, Set, Go" and we were off. I settled in to what I thought was a comfortable pace. Well, comfortably uncomfortable, I guess. Not too fast, but not a heavy duty push. We were running around the circumference of Lake Quannapowitt, which was lovely, and the course was flat, so, despite the buckets of sweat pouring down my face, I was kind of enjoying myself. My first mile was a 6:22. Okay, I thought. I'm feeling good. Let's go. I shifted gears....or at least I thought I did... and tried to get my groove on for the next mile. I was working hard, but there was no one around me, so I guess my drive waned a bit as my second mile was a 6:35. Oh well, I thought, not great, not bad. Time to get this done. What else you got, Rebecca?
As I got into mile three, I could see the finish line which was good because I was hurting big time. I caught up to a guy and passed him but I don't think he was happy about it, so he surged back up next to me. It was nice to have the competition as I definitely needed the push and was glad to have the distraction. We worked together for a bit but then I guess he decided it wasn't worth it, so I took it home, rolling in at 20:09. I wasn't thrilled with my time, but it was good for the win, which I was really excited about. I grabbed some water and found Jess as I attempted to decompress. Shortly after I finished, a woman came over and started chatting with me. Here's how our conversation played out:
Her: Ugh. What did you get for distance on that?
Me: I got 3.11
Her: Really, I got 3.05. I think it was short.
Me: Oh well.
Her: So, what was your time?
Me: Right around 20 minutes.
Her: Yea, I ran 20:30. I'm stuck there. I don't know why I can't get it down. Such a crappy time.
Me: It was humid today. Tough conditions for a PR.
Her: Not really. I feel like I should have been able to do it.
Me: Oh. Well, sorry about that.
Her: At least I might have gotten the age group win. You look older than me. How old are you?
----> insert pause as I digest this last statement.
Me: I'm 40.
Her: Oh, I am, too. I just turned 40, though.
Me: Yea, me, too.
Her: Oh, sorry. I feel really bad now.
Me: Why, because you said the course was short, my time sucked and I look old? Don't sweat it.
Aside from the "don't sweat it" bit, I did not say that last sentence. But, I did think it. The whole thing was a bit surreal. And beyond hilarious. Jess had heard that they'd be doing awards around 9:30 so we decided to stay and pick up my medal. Huge props to Jess for her willingness to stick around even after having already stuck around. In the end, I'm glad we stayed because in addition the medal, I was awarded a $25 gift card. Such a nice bonus. Next on the list, coffee. Jess found us a Starbucks and we bee-lined it for our caffeine fix. In my post-run haze, I forgot to treat her to her beverage, which was a major party foul on my part. I have given her the official IOU and she knows I'm good for it. Finally, we headed back to Winchester, I dropped Jess off at her pad and then headed home. Later that afternoon, I used my gift card to treat my daughter and her two friends to the Minion Movie. Mega props for mom.
So, as far as races go, it was a good day. But, not because of the win. That was great. Even better, though, was getting to hang with my bud all morning; getting in some solid laughs and a cup of coffee. I wouldn't be racing if it weren't for that. That's the good stuff.
Listen to this:
Make Our Own Way - Little Brutes