To a runner, there’s no happier sight than the finish line. But this… this:
The irony! We’ve been going through a serious dry spell here in California and today, of all days, rain decided to make an appearance. He brought his friends wind and cold, too.
But hey: a race is a race. And the Super Guadalupe River 10K/ 5K run was a great one. Top notch organization, a great cause – proceeds benefit the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy – and an PR-perfect, flat out-and-back course.
But before I tell you about the run, a little peek at our little California Drought of 2014 that made our reservoirs look like this:For a bit of perspective… here’s a short of the same place from March last year:So yes. Rain is definitely welcome any time! Only, it would’ve been so much nicer if Mother Nature had waited a few hours before unleashing its cold, windy fury on us right as we started our 10K this morning?
But you know what? It was tough, it was downright miserable at times… and that made this race all that much better. Cause we did it! (And then we ate lots of guacamole. More on that later.)
Our cold and cloudy — but very fun, with awesome music (Rolling Stones!) — start situation:The 10K started at 9 a.m. sharp, right in the middle of a short reprieve from rain and wind. It was quite chilly, though, so I kept my windbreaker on, thinking I might shed and carry it as I warmed up. How naive!
HusbandRuns graced me with the pleasure of his company at this race and we started together. I did tell him this, though: If you’re too slow for me, I will drop you. Don’t take it personally, yeah? (He’s been feeling under the weather the past few days, so I seriously thought this might happen.)
I was a bit worried about starting out too fast – especially considering I’d run not a single fast mile since the end of November, when I started training by the Maffetone method. So I had more than two months of running at a heart rate of 145 or below, starting at a 10-ish minute mile and gradually coming down to 9:15-9:30, but nothing – nothing – faster.
But so far, so good. The course is a straight and flat out-and-back on a park road parallel to the 87, running to and along San Jose International Airport. Kinda fun, running by all the Arrivals This Way, Departures That Way signs. Ready for liftoff!HusbandRuns was way ahead of me at this point and I slowed down somewhat, with no one to push me (or would that be “pull”?)
Mile 3: 8:00
Still felt pretty good: legs still fresh, steps light. I was even getting a bit warm and briefly considered shedding the jacket.
And then we reached the turnaround point. And the wind hit.
Gusts of it. Super strong. Cold. Relentless.
It was just pure torture, and I very nearly enjoyed it. If not for the fact that my pace slowed down even more and I knew that PR I was after was slipping away (because let’s face it: every time I race, the goal is to PR. can’t help it. could you?)
Mile 4: 8:22
Mile 5: 8:38
I tried to pick it up the final mile, but at that point we were sharing the course with the 5K-ers coming back and there was some zig-zagging to do. Did my best.
Mile 6: 8:22
The last .2 miles were the hardest: I saw the 50-minute mark pass on my watch and very nearly stopped and walked. But it was just so cold! Why prolong it?
Last .2 mile: 7:55
Crossed the finish line with an official time of 50:54. HusbandRuns was waiting for me, having finished in 48:38. The wind had reached brutal proportions (see video above), so I quickly grabbed our finisher t-shirts and water bottles and we ran off to the warmth of our car. And yes, as soon as I warmed up back home and my lips had lost their beautiful blue tint, I made a humongous bowl of guacamole. Because the back of the race T-shirt said so.
And huge thanks to all race volunteers who braved this insane weather to support us. Your loud, happy cheers throughout the course were very, very much appreciated!
Overall place: 48
Age group: 6