Right now, thousands of people are dying of heat while they try to run a marathon. Hopefully not literally, but it seems possible. I can’t imagine running a marathon in 90 degree heat, so good luck to anyone running the Boston right now! Or I guess I should say congratulations, since probably nobody is reading this while they run the Boston Marathon (but you never know!).
I did some racing of my own yesterday, although I must admit that perhaps it wasn’t as impressive as running a marathon in 90 degree weather. The race did take me back to my 2010 Portland Marathon though, in that I ran almost not at all in preparation for both of them. In both cases I was a little nervous beforehand too, although this time just because I thought I might run embarrassingly slow, and before the Portland Marathon I thought I would either not finish or die, or most likely, just hurt myself really bad.
The good news is that just like I did the Portland Marathon, I dominated the Bridge to Brews 8k yesterday morning! Not dominated it like I won it, just dominated it like it didn’t go that poorly. The reason I thought it might go so poorly is that I haven’t run for two months – except for one 6 mile run last weekend that was really slow and difficult. I initially stopped running because my hip was hurting for a week or so. I had that fixed, and then continued to not run because I’m really tired of running by myself all the time. Even running with Pascal isn’t doing it for me; we seem to have run out of things to talk about. I’ve discovered also that going to a running group doesn’t always mean you’ll have someone to run with either. I’m working on a solution to this, but it might take a while to figure out how to make a robot that can run and talk to me at the same time. I don’t even know how to make a robot that does nothing yet.
I also had a couple of other reasons to be nervous before the race. First, I was ill-prepared and didn’t have my normal racing gear with me. Mostly this means my shoes with my orthotics. I’ve worn orthotics in my running shoes since I was 11 years old, and to be honest, didn’t really know if I could run without them or not because I never try. But I also only had my Nike Frees, which aren’t ideal racing shoes. I was also missing a sports bra, but to be honest I only wear those because I don’t like to get my normal bras sweaty, not because it’s really necessary. I also think people look dumb when they run in a normal bra. But I wasn’t going to let this stop me.
My second reason to be nervous came right before the race start, when I realized that I had no idea what was going on. Some people were lined up to start running, but the majority of people seemed to just be milling about. The people lined up had both 8k and 10k bibs on, so I couldn’t tell which race was about to begin. Then the countdown from 10 started, the starting horn went off, and the guy with the loudspeaker told everyone in the first wave to begin. Was I in the first wave? I didn’t know. So I stood there for a minute and then started running, and it seemed to work out okay.
Like I said, the run wasn’t nearly as terrible as I thought it would be – in fact, it wasn’t terrible at all. It was really fun, and at the end a guy gave me a high five and said thanks for pacing him the whole way. I like when people do that, because it reminds me that someone was staring at me and trying to catch me the entire race, just like I was doing to somebody else. My final time was 39:00, which is a pace of 7:51/mile. Last year I ran it in 36:05 and the year before that in 38:03, but I had also been training for those races, so I’m very happy with my time.
Edit (5/8/12): I recently received some footage of my amazing finish on this race, and had to share it with you:
Overall I got 99th place, which feels appropriate because Pandora played me three different songs during the race that involved some remix of “99 Problems.” Except I only had 98 problems during that race, and those were the 98 people who somehow got in front of me.
The best part of this Bridge to Brews came later last night, when I went to dinner and happened to run into the winner of the Bridge to Brews 8k. He was holding his Bridge to Brews t-shirt and Champion Mug, and so one of the servers got excited and asked if he was the winner. He said yes, because he was, and so they offered him a free drink. Luckily he was already drunk so he let me have it! This was good, because I was able to cross him off my list of problems, bringing me down to 97 problems. The moral of this race is that if you can’t win, you should sit near the guy who did and take his free drink.
PS. I also got 16th place for women, which I would like to point out because it sounds much more impressive than 99th place. But I didn’t hear any songs remixing “16 Problems” while I was running.