January 10, 2016


Gorgeous Day on Ocean Beach!
Today, E2 and I ran our first race together in 6+ years.  She was my original running buddy back in the day (she's the friend I've had in my life the longest, and she's essentially family).  I lost her running companionship to injuries a while back, so imagine how thrilled I was when she mentioned late last year that she'd been increasing her mileage without negative side effects and wondered if I would be interested in running the San Francisco Hot Chocolate 15K with her.  It was a magical day (and a great way to celebrate a big day in her life).

Random super-tall photobomber at the start.

It was a new (to me) distance, although I was slightly familiar with the race from having ran to the finish last year (I knew to expect that it would be huge).

Do you know what a new distance means?  Immediate PR!
Look!  Bison!
And I needed that level of affirmation.  I've been struggling for the last year to find motivation to push myself.  Running is just not something where I'm interested in things being difficult.  I have plenty of areas of life that are difficult.  With running, lately, I like to get out for *time* on my feet.  But pacing is so uninteresting when I'm stressed from life, that I often find myself jogging, or run-walking, or not even worrying about the time at all -- escaping and lazy.

Look, here we are, all the way out at the ocean.

Thankfully, E2 was having none of this.  She lied and told me she would need to take lots of walk breaks.  In truth, we only walked for water, to take photos, and to take a porta-john stop around mile 6.

After we hit the 8 mile marker, it was clear to me that I'd hit the wall, so I told E2 to take off.  It was very obvious that despite her 6+ years of not much running, she was much more fit than I was, *and* the last mile+ of this race is uphill.  And E2 is a billy goat.  When she's able to run, she has this annoying quality where she actually gets *faster* going uphill.  So, she agreed to ditch me and left.  I took solace in the fact that while I alternated with 50X8 count running, and 100 steps walking for 3 intervals before I felt that I could finally slowly jog/run to the end, I still passed people consistently (open corral for the win!).

Finally!  Done.
When all was said and done, I finished 4 minutes after E2, so I definitely made the right call in encouraging her to book it up the final hills.

On the other hand, much to my surprise, I'm totally pleased with the outcome.  It's a nice strong positive split, but it includes several walk breaks, photo breaks, and a long porta-john stop.  I may actually be (*gasp*) in slightly better shape than I realized (thanks for the heat, humidity and hills, Hawaii!).  I couldn't find my Garmin this AM in the hotel room (thinking I'd left it at home), so all I have to rely upon is the official data:

Interval Chip Time Chip Pace
5K 0:33:20 10:44 min/mi
10K 1:12:55 11:45 min/mi
Finish 1:52:06 12:02 min/mi

5 weeks 'til Kaiser half.  I feel very confident that I will be able to finish.  Just how fast is up for grabs at the moment, but I'll take any finish as a success.  Last year, thanks to support from F, I barely pulled through with a 2:39 (11:51 AVG including all breaks).  At this point, I think targeting beating that is reasonable and good.  So that's what I'm taking as my B goal.  A goal to be determined.  


Arvay said...

Lovely to see you both running together! :)

Layla said...

Aw, this seems like a win on all fronts! The weather, the company, the "PR" and the encouragement for Kaiser. I'm happy for you!

bt said...

@Arvay & @Layla -- Thanks to you both for the kind words and encouragement.