Sunday, September 29, 2013

Race Report: Katy 10

Finish Time: 02:24:08 (chip time); 02:25:13 (gun time)
Charity: Race 4 West, TX

So many things could have gone wrong. I had miscounted my work schedule, so I was scheduled to work this afternoon; a colleague graciously switched Sunday shifts with me. I worked yesterday, but I wasn't too worn out. I stayed overnight with a friend (a million thanks, Tanetti!), and I could have tossed and turned with anxiety; instead I nearly overslept. We watched lightning play across the sky on our way in. My friend forgot her bib and had to dash back home to get it.

MRTT Katy Chapter members
But, yes, we managed to get in place on time. Had a good time chatting with members of the Katy Chapter of MRTT (and finally meeting one irl). Also ended up next to a lovely woman with whom there was much nerd talk (the costume will do that).

Once we got underway, I think I ran pretty smart. I watched my intervals, kept my pace slow. The first five were actually a little zen. The route was flat, mostly residential with moments of green (at one point, I watched a hawk hunt and an egret circle). I loved that hydration stations were set up at every mile mark so that I could count it down. Of course, my confidence sagged a titch when I was passed by the lead runner long before I reached the halfway point, but I kept going.

It was the second five miles that was my heart's work as much as my body's. I took my mantra from the show A Game of Thrones:*
What do we say to the god of death? Not today.
It had started lightly sprinkling at this point (the humidity never let up and temps mid-70s to low 80s). I was able to count down the miles. Six: this is where my gallbladder exploded last May. Seven: the mileage left is that of my first race a little over a year ago. Eight: the mileage left was my run on Thursday morning. Nine: the mileage left is a fun run I do with my daughter.

It was tough, though. My left foot--well, everything, really--started to hurt. Most of us at this point were walking, not talking, not making eye-contact. I had the impression that we were spaced apart like telephone poles, and if a wire were strung between us, it would hum with sheer will.

Achievement Unlocked
I ended up keeping pace with a woman wearing a Houston Half-marathon Finisher shirt. She and I would switch-off the lead several times. But when the finish line was in sight, I had it in me to put on the speed and fly past her. It was a race after all.

I earned my medal--50th out of 53 in my age group, 415th out of 450. Not last. Far from.

After we got home, I took a shower to wash my hair, and then a soak in the tub with a Lush bath bomb I had been saving for a special occasion. Tonight I'll have curry and a beer. Tomorrow I'll have a full rest day.

If you asked me at mile 9 if I would consider a half, I'd say, hell no! But now ... well ...

Would there be a medal?

* Yes, I know it's a book series. I've read part of the first book. Let it go, nerd.