Let me start off with how COLD it was. For someone who ran a race in 26 degrees (with wind), I was surprisingly wimpy when it came to waiting around for this race.
I had picked my bib up earlier in the week, but the chips weren’t availalble until race day. Wish I would have known that, because since I registered late, I wasn’t receiving a race premium, and could have saved some time by gathering my bib and chip on Saturday morning.
The race had over 4,000 registrants and so when it came time to line up, it was a massive chunk of runners. I didn’t see any pacing groups, which I think would have helped greatly. The bagpipers went through the crowd to start the race, and there were many festively dressed for the occasion.
The gun went off and so were we! As I stated, I wish there were visible pacing groups because in the first few miles, I was SLUGGING along trying to find a decent running spot. There was a point when I looked down on at my watch and I was running a 12:00 minute mile. I’ve been in the 9:30 range. Was NOT happy. Kept going, thinking that this is supposed to be a fun race. However, with people walking on the left side of the course (typically used as the ‘fast’ lane), it was difficult.
Once things settled out, so did I. Around mile 3, I looked at my watch again – 8:13 minute/mile. EEK! Didn’t want to burn out, so around mile 3.5 I reigned it back in. I was feeling pretty good and even said hello to a few people I recognized.
My main goal was to beat 50:00, but my secret goal was to finish with a 9:30 minute/mile pace or better. Didn’t get it – final time was 48:17 with an average pace of 9:40. I placed 143rd out of 328 in my age group and was 1445 overall.
While I wish I would have ended my 2013 racing season on a higher note, I now have a clearer idea of how I want to get better in the ‘off season.’ Work on speed, keep having fun, and aim to make 2014 a year full of PRs 🙂
I know some of you runners already have your 2014 race schedule already figured out, but for those of us who don’t – any races in the MD/DC/VA that should be on my ‘must run’ list?
Who else raced this weekend? Any PRs out there?