I did it. My longest run in over 2 years is over. Let me tell you about it.
Due to a bullshit timing glitch I only have an official gun time, no net chip time. The shoe I attached the chip to passed over the mat, but since I didn't stomp on the mat, it failed to register when I crossed the starting line. According to my watch I finished in 1:45:18, but my gun time is almost a minute slower. I know it 's splitting hairs, but it peeves me that my final sprint to shave a few more seconds off my time was all for naught. In all my years of racing I've never had this happen.
Not a PR, but close. I'm 10 pounds heavier and run less than half of the weekly mileage I used to. How I came within about 3 minutes of my old half-marathon PR, I don't know. We'll need to examine this later.
In another first, I had a mysterious case of FOAMING PANTS.
It was raining during the entire race, with spurts of torrential down-pours. Somewhere around the third mile I looked down and what did I see? HUGE SOAP SUDS covering my capri pants. I wiped them off, but they kept coming back. The suds were quite obvious as most people made comments as I went by. They were even coming off my butt. Humiliating. I ran the entire race looking like someone had sprayed my legs with light layer of shaving cream. I've read about this phenomenon before on runnersworld.com, so I'm not the only one this has happened to, but I was still a sight to behold. Time to start using less detergent and a second rinse cycle.
I held a pace of 8:40 for the first 3 miles. Feeling good, I steadily started to pick up speed. I loosely kept track of my time and checked my watch at each mile marker, but wasn't real precise. I know I ran negative splits, with each mile getting slightly faster than the one before. Miles 7 through 9 were the most difficult. I starting to get tired at that point, and it had been so long since I had run that far I started doubting if I could keep up the pace. The confidence returned once I hit mile 10, and knew I was in the home stretch. I mentally switched gears, and started visualizing myself running a 5k race. I picked a person ahead of me, then focused on closing the gap. One by one, I worked to reel them in. Working in small increments made it easier push myself to the next point.
The course is a paved bike path. You run 7 miles in one direction, make a u-turn, and run back 6.1 miles to finish in a parking lot where there are buses waiting. Then you get driven back to the starting line. It's flat and fast course, but also boring. The race was decently organized, but nothing special. Post race refreshments were the standard fare: oranges, bananas, bagels, and vats of peanut butter to spread on the bagels. I skipped that and right for the good stuff.
M had made a Mickey D's run during the race and had an egg and sausage biscuit, 2 hash browns, orange juice, and a black coffee waiting for me in the car. I devoured every morsel. I may have come up for air once or twice. It tasted awesome. He had already eaten the exact same breakfast while sitting on his duff waiting for me to finish. It's ridiculous how he can stay so skinny.
The finishers medals and long sleeve tech t-shirts were nice. Now I look forward to the 15k on Saturday. Cue Eye if the Tiger....