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Race Recap: Title 9K

November 10, 2010 Fitness, Friends No Comments

Sunday was the First Annual Title 9K: Women on the Run. This logo is on the race shirt and I really like it. What are YOU running for? One of the options is “More Wine”!

I signed up with several friends about a month ago –some running, some walking, all of us looking forward to a fun morning together. This run was one week before my final race of the 2010 season and I was looking forward to it. I knew Caryn and I would be running together and that would help keep my motivation up for a strong finish. To say that I have been lacking in the motivation department for the last few weeks is quite an understatement…

It was a beautiful week in the Bay Area, especially considering it was the first week of November. Temperatures in the mid-70s and calm. PERFECT. By Saturday afternoon, we were all aware of the forecast: rain and wind. Unfortunately for the 1100 women who had signed up for the event, the meteorologists predicted correctly this time. It rained throughout the night on Saturday and we woke up to a cold and soggy race day.

Luckily this wasn’t one of those crack-of-dawn starts and I met my friends in Palo Alto for a 9 AM start. They had a Fun Run for the kids prior to the start of the race so we all stood around getting wet waiting for our turn. I don’t mind running in the rain at all, but standing around in it is no fun. Jane’s smile is genuine — she came fully prepared in her Gore-Tex!

Mirella was running her first race since having her twin boys two years ago and trained with an iPhone app that assured her she was ready for the race. Jane and Suzie were walking with Suzie’s mom Mike. Kriss was the one who got us all signed up for the event, though she had to travel to London at the last minute for a work assignment. I bet she was glad to miss it! Caryn was here with a couple of friends she had recruited as well.

The announcer finally called us over to get lined up. Caryn and I headed for the 8-minute mile pace marker. We were the only ones there! I have never been at the front of the pack before! I was actually kind of nervous about it, and luckily more people showed up (even a handful in the 7-minute mile group). Even so, it felt pretty good knowing I was in the “fast group.”

With the half marathon just one week away, I was looking at this as a test to see if I could hold a steady pace for the ~6 miles. Caryn and I agreed to push ourselves to hold 8-minute miles since I usually settle into a pretty comfortable 8:30 pace during my training runs. What would I do without my Garmin?! For me it becomes kind of an obsession, watching my pace and making adjustments on the fly.

The course was a nice loop through the Palo Alto Baylands. We made our way through an office park, then turned onto the trails. We fought a pretty steady headwind on the way out, so I was happy to make the turn just past 2 km. I held my pace pretty well, as did the others running in this group. Caryn fell back a bit, so I slowed down a couple of times to wait and see if she’d catch up. She wasn’t making a push to meet me, so I sped up to keep my average pace. It stopped raining for a little while around 3-4 km, but then started back up before we finished. Did I mention we were running on a dirt trail? Make that a MUD TRAIL.

Everything felt pretty good and steady, and I knew I’d finish right about where I wanted to. But by 7 km, I just wanted it to be over. My fingers were starting to go numb, my heart rate was high (170 bpm) pretty much the whole time, and I was just over it. Like I am the whole race season at this point… The distance between 8 km and 9 km felt more like a mile to me, but I finished strong amidst a cheering crowd. I was surprised at how many people came out to cheer us on! Caryn finished about 30 seconds behind me and we waited for our friends to come in.

Mirella’s pace was just over 9-minute miles and her twin boys stopped playing in the puddles to greet her when she came across the finish line. Jane, Suzie, and Mike turned around after about 30 minutes of walking to meet us back in the expo area rather than spend two hours walking in the miserable mud and rain. Smart!

Mirella had made a comment about enjoying a post-race beer, but there was none to be found in the expo area. Not to worry, she had brought some in the car! We retreated to the parking lot and celebrated.

After chugging the beer to get out of the rain, I drove directly to the gym to sit in the 170-degree sauna. I lasted 20 minutes without a break because I was so chilled. I then swam a lap in the pool down to the hot tub and sat in there for 5 minutes. Ahhhhh. I could finally feel my fingers and toes again!

Race results:
9K (5.95 mi by my Garmin) 48:04
7/158 in age group
32/910 overall

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