Thought for the Day

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Desert Classic Half Marathon 2004

I got up Sunday morning and couldn't find my race watch. Couldn't find my favorite race shorts. Couldn't find my favorite pump pack for my insulin pump. Couldn't find my power gel.
Well, at least I knew that it was just a few miles up the 101 freeway to get to this race.
So I drove the one mile west to the freeway to find that it was closed. I had to take surface streets. I got there in time to hear the starting instructions and the gun go off as I was approaching the registration table. I walked over to the table and asked if it was too late to get into the half, and they said it was fine. A woman had just registered before me. Another guy came over and registered after I was heading to the start. I stopped and put my sweatshirt next to a lamp post, put the chip on my shoe with a plastic cable tie, crumpled up and stuffed my race number into my pocket, and started to run.
This was a very flat course, the first part looping through farmland usually used for cotton, but currently barren, and the later miles along the top of a canal bank.
The canal portion is loose dirt, and slows you down a bit, but it's a pretty fast course.
I had a lot of fun. I was passing people through the whole race, but it got harder and harder to catch them, and they looked more and more athletic, as I moved up through the pack. I had no clear splits. There were mile markers, it seemed like every two miles, but I wasn't sure when I started, and I wasn't using a stop watch. I was sure I was running a pretty good pace for me.
I ran this race as a training run for the Valley of the Sun Marathon next month.
I ran a ten mile hill run the day before, and I thought doing this race after that would be almost as good a long run. And more fun.
Anyway, I passed a runner near the 10 mile point, and he said, "That's the way to do it." Then he stuck on my heels as I kept trying to push it to the finish. I kept picking off other runners, but he stayed with me. Finally with about half a mile to go, he passed me, and said, "That's the way."
I tried to keep up, but consoled myself with the fact that by chip time I was probably five minutes ahead of him.
When I crossed the line, the clock said 1:45 something. I knew that wasn't right, but I didn't know until today that my official chip time was 1:38:58.
I'm pretty happy with it, knowing I can run a faster half. I think this was a good workout, and good for me psychologically.

No comments: