When I first heard about the second running of this race, I thought, Ooh, I can try and get my 10k PR under 50 minutes. You see, I ran my 10k PR on this course last October, in 50:34. Then, when I signed up for the GOGI 10k, I thought, Ooh, I’ll just run this as an indicator of appropriate fitness for my marathon goals. And when I picked up my bib and t-shirt for this race, I thought, Ooh-kay, just go out there to have fun and not embarrass yourself, TK. I sure hope that downgrading doesn’t become a trend between now and October. Well, actually, if it does become a trend, sure as shit I ain’t running a fall marathon.
This is what I loved about the race: meeting new Twitter friends and connecting with old ones. Bumping into old running buddies, including one Green Mountain Relay teammate and a former student of mine. I even recognized the lovely lady who kept me up to speed back in October. @BklynRunner, @linnaf, @runninglam, @EvaTEsq, @bunk1mike, AL, NI—this is how it works: I race for me, but before and afterwards I get so much enjoyment out of your company. There are few people I prefer more than runners, it’s just a fact.
This is another thing I loved about the race: taking the ferry. Ferry rides put me at peace, and remind me of happy moments past.
This is the third thing I love about this race: the course. It’s flat, it’s three loops but each loop is slightly different than the one before so we’re not dreading what’s coming next, the scenery is lovely (rivers, skylines, world-famous statues, trees, wide lawns, historic buildings with graceful arches), and the finish line is charmingly low-key.
So, I didn’t PR. I didn’t even run with a watch, because Little G’s bezel has been nonresponsive when I press it to retrieve a satellite. Instead, I used the clocks at each mile marker and my goal pace (8-minute miles) and perceived effort to pace myself. I’d say it worked out pretty well. Mile 1 was about 8:30, Mile 2 was about 8:15, but Miles 3 and 4 were definitely 8 minutes or less. Mile 5 and 6 I’m not sure, but given my average pace of 8:12, I must have been running sub-8’s. (I missed the 5-mile marker, causing me to despair for a bit, believing I had bonked since I was going full bore but thought I wasn’t getting anywhere. However, I finished in 51:01 (196th out of 758 racers overall, and 18th out of 156 in my division), which is only 25 seconds off my PR. If I had run my goal pace, I would have finished in 49:16. (Watch smatch. Now at least I know where I’m going.)
Along with the Forest Park Classic 4-Miler and the Green Mountain Relay, I think this GOGI 10k will become part of my must-run races each year. As a runner, it’s a great opportunity to be able to measure yourself against the same course year in and year out. Time tells a tale that can be triumphant or tricky, but it’s always tool for improvement.