Today I reached goal #2 for the year: to run a 10K within 5 months of starting to run again. I actually finished way ahead of when I thought I’d be ready, and I’m very glad I did.
I ran the Cincinnati Thanksgiving Day Race, the US’s second oldest organized race (after the Boston Marathon). This year was the 100th running of the race so that added a little more “cool” to the proceedings. Yesterday, my wife and I stopped at Bob Roncker’s Running Spot to pick up my bib and chip and the place was swamped. That should have been an indication of what was to come. I have to admit, I felt like a “real” runner participating in a race that was chip timed.
My parents are in town for Thanksgiving, so I felt a bit guilty for taking time out of the morning to go run the race, but I was really motivated to do it, so I did. Unfortunately, I had to go do it alone as my wife, parents, and my boys stayed at home. In then end, it’s a good thing they didn’t go because it was in the 30’s out there this morning. Standing around waiting for the race to start was the hardest and coldest part.
Here’s an early morning shot of me, just before I left for the race. Note the lack of daylight!.
17,000 runners and walkers showed up to do the race. I was blown away. I had no idea it would be this big, and only having run a couple of local 5Ks prior to this, and I had no idea what to expect. The good news is that all those bodies help to block the bitter wind while we waited for the starting gun. Once it did start, it took me about ten minutes to make it to the starting line, another new experience for me.
I felt great as the run got underway. I spent the whole course reminding myself to run nice and easy and it made a world of difference. For the first two miles or so, it felt like I spent a good deal of time dodging the walkers on the course, so when I look back at my pace data, I look a bit schizophrenic at the beginning. I feel like the race organizers could do a better job of having the walkers on one side of the course and the runners on the other, but maybe this is just par for the course for a race this big.
I had made such a quick decision to do the race that I had not yet even completed a six mile run, so I was nervous about just completing it, but as it turned out, I had no problems. In fact, I had the satisfaction of crossing the finish line and knowing I could have gone further. A couple of the bridges had some relatively steep hills, but no too bad. My time for my first 10K was 1:04:24.
When I got home, my family had made a sign for me to break through. “You have one one more tape to break today” was what my wife told me as I was driving home. Here’s a picture.
This gives me so much motivation to keep going. I also know that I’m going to sign up for the Flying Pig and run the half next spring.
A great day.