On a whim during my training for half marathon #5, I signed up for the Space City 10 Miler, a flat loop through Clear Lake on a Sunday morning. It fell at a good point in my training cycle, right where my mileage is increasing on my long runs. If nothing else, I thought, it would be a good long run on a pretty fall Texas morning.
|Because the medal is just really awesome.|
Of course, you know that’s not what happened at all. I’m too competitive to see a road race as a training run; I see it as a chance to test my limits. So when I got there, I was a little nervous, walked around, noted that there would be breakfast tacos afterward, and did all the usual stuff: portapotty line, dynamic warmup, finding a place in the corral. The Star-Spangled Banner never fails to bring tears to my eyes.
And then we were off. I did that thing where I went out too fast; my first mile clocked at 8:04. That was the fastest I did for the entire race. And while I didn’t steadily slow down, the last mile was 8:30, which tells me that I need to work harder on pacing myself.
As for the course itself, it was reasonably flat. The start and finish was at University of Houston – Clear Lake, and we ran through the Armand Bayou and Taylor Lake Village and along the perimeter of the Johnson Space Center. There were some really nice views of Clear Lake and the luxury high rise where it’s purported that Matthew McConaghey lives. I was pushing myself pretty hard (which is why I didn’t have negative splits), sweat in my eyes, anxious about getting home in time for church. An older gentleman, about halfway through, congratulated me on maintaining a steady pace. Then he fell behind me.
I crossed the finish line at 1:23:52 (8:23 pace). Not terrible, but not great. But then there’s the kicker: I checked the results, shrugged, got my water bottle and breakfast tacos, and headed home. Then I checked the results online, and I realized I’d have to make a journey to On the Run, the local running store, to pick up a little something to hang on my wall:
I ended up placing third in my age group. Yes, there were more than three women aged 35-39 running the race (there were 35 of us total).