I know I’m a slacker. I meant to have this up sooner but these past few days have been busy as hell. My bad. So Saturday morning I got the chance to run with a friend in her very first road race. (Her first race ever was the Mud Run this past summer…and that is such a big departure from an actual distance race like this that I feel like they can be considered different things and this was he first ‘real race’). The inaugural Runner’s World Half & Festival was going on this weekend, and Rock and I were registered for the 10K. We met up early morning and made our way up to Bethlehem, Pa. There was a 5K that went off before the 10K, so it was really crowded not so much that you couldn’t move, but a lot of people nonetheless. The parking was kind of a shit show, there were designated parking spots on the maps that were distributed ahead of time that seemed to lie directly in the race course, and as such, were blocked off and completely inaccessible by the time we got there. After driving around aimlessly for a while we found a lot and parked not too far from the start line/ expo. We got registered and our t-shirts without any issue, and then got ready to race. Here’s a pic of the two of us before we lined up in the corrals to run, Rock making me look good. Yes, I know I have insanely good looking friends.
The race itself was good. It was pretty crowded, I think I heard the MC say 2,000 plus runners registered for the 10K. This was good and bad. Good because there was a lot of people to feed into the experience and the energy of the day. Bad because we were not released in waves, they just fired the gun and this mass of people started moving forward. Needless to say, there was a massive traffic jam. Things bottlenecked right at the start line, we actually walked across the start. Once we got through the first 1/2 to 1 mile, things started to open up a bit but that first leg of the race was pretty dicey. I bumped into quite a few people. If that was you….sorry. Rock and I ran together for about the first half of the race, and then the next thing you know, I looked around and she was just gone. (Fell back a little bit, I found out later). I resisted the urge to hold up and look for her since she told me about half a dozen times to run my own race and meet her at the finish line, so I decided to turn it up a little and see what I could do for the last 3 miles. I gave it a kick in the ass and started moving a lot faster to see if I could beat my personally imposed goal of a sub-one hour 10K. One note…this course was HILLY. The worst of it came in the beginning of the race, but it just felt like I was always leaning into a hill as I was going along. I was able to push it along and finish strong. It was a nice run through the town of Bethlehem, Pa. A really cool course that ran through the stereotypical college town (some really old historic looking victorian homes and fieldstone houses…and then 5 min later we pass a frat house complete with a group of guys drinking beers at 10am on their front porch all dressed in costumes. I picked out one guy dressed as a beer keg and another as superman, the others I couldn’t make out, but they were all dressed up and well into throwing down, getting an early start on their day drinking…made for a good laugh) All in all I felt great the entire race and even though I did not break an hour (I finished with an official time of 1:00:16……oooh those damn 16 seconds!) I did manage to set a new PR. I consider this a massive victory when you consider the crowds/bottlenecks and the damn dirty hills. I feel like if I managed the hills or traffic a little better, or pushed myself a little harder (which I could have done) I could have broken the 1 hour mark. Ill get it next time for sure.
The one nice thing about finishing ahead of Rock (She completely rocked her first race finishing in 1:06:09), it gave me the chance to set up and snap a few pics of her crossing the finish line for the first time. Here’s a pic of her crossing over and giving a well deserved fist pump.
After the race we got some food, bananas and bagels and such, milled around to check out the rest of the festival and the expo, and then made our way out of there. The nice thing about doing this with such a close friend is that after the race we had plans for her to come back to our house and hang out with me, Jenn, and Tess for the afternoon. It was a great first race experience for her and I was proud to be a part of it, But it was a pretty big day for me too. Not only did I set a new PR, it turns out I hit some fairly cool milestones with this race as well. As I mentioned in the previous post I’m kind of a dork when it comes to running gadgets. And thanks to the run logging of Nike+, and my penchant for being a numbers guy I now know that:
- This was Run #100 for me all time-(3.8 mi avg run distance all time, 11:21 avg pace all time- including all the run/walking I did during the Couch to 5K program)
- Run # 91 on the year: I’ll post 2012 stats once I hit run #100 of the year
- I have Surpassed 365 miles ran for the year of 2012- This was one of my lofty goals at the beginning of the year
- Set a new PR for the 10K distance with an official time of 1:00:16. (In a HUGE tease, my unofficial time per my Nike+ GPS watch was 59:57, but again…the official time is the official time)
- Lastly, this was the first time that I was able to run a substantial distance and run negative splits the entire duration. For those of you who are not up on the “hip runner speak”, That’s basically a fancy-pants way of saying that every mile that I ran was faster than the last. When you start running further distances, It’s common when you are tracking your runs to have everything split out by mile along with your time to run each individual mile. This allows you to compare how you were running in the beginning versus the end of the run, by way of looking at each of your individual “splits”. So by my semi-pretentious “I ran negative splits the whole race”, I’m really just saying that I got continually faster as the race went on.
All in all, it was a great day. One of the better ones in recent memory, actually.
It was awesome to run with Rock (and really looking forward to tackling the Philly Half with you as well!), and just as awesome as the run was the time we got to spend driving to and from and then hanging that afternoon just talking running, catching up, and chilling with Jenn and Tess.
Looking ahead to my immediate future I am looking forward to this Sat and running with another friend Katie in her first 5K. She has recently started running and is about to tackle a big personal milestone in completing her first race. I am proud to be able to be a part of it. (On a personal note, I am also proud of the fact that I am in a position now to be able to play this role for her. My Uncle Mario ran my first race with me and it made a world of difference to have someone there just to support me. Now I get a chance to give that back and help out a friend who is doing the same thing)
I hope you enjoyed the recap, this weeks post coming shortly and another update from this weekends 5K coming after that.
I hope you are all having a great week. Ill catch up to you soon. Until then (as always), take it easy.