I was at a party the night before this race and I met some women who told me they got into running recently because bike racing was starting to be too much pressure. So we got to chatting and I mentioned I had this race the next day and they were asking me about the details and I was like, “I don’t even know! I need to check the website when I get home.” And they laughed and said, “Oh that’s so cool, how laid back you are!” And they didn’t know me, really, so I laughed too and went along with the charade, like Yeah I am so laid back! My husband is always like, “Pam can you just maybe tense up a little more because you are waaaay too chill!”
Perhaps you can imagine how laid back I was when I sat with my laptop at the kitchen table in search of an address for the race start at 9pm Saturday night, only to discover that there was no packet pick-up on race day. Perhaps you have a notion of what my “laid back” self was feeling upon frantically searching my Hotmail account for emails from the race directors, and finding no less than three unopened emails with the words “There will be no race day packet pick up” in bold featuring prominently in every.single.one.
Or maybe you need me to fill in the blanks; I was slumped over my keyboard with my head in my hands, crying, shaking my head and muttering “I. AM. SO. STUPID.Why did I not read my emails? Why did I not have them go to my Gmail?” and also “Don’t touch me.” when Dan tried to rub my shoulders. I’m obviously in a very bad state if I don’t want to be touched.
I’d trained for this race. This race was the reason I was motivated to keep running over the past two months or so. My goal was to run eight minute miles, even if it was a stretch. This race was the reason I got on the treadmill two weeks ago and busted out a ten miler with four miles at an eight minute pace and another four miles even faster than that. It was the reason I got out on all the ridiculously snowy days we’ve been having. I needed this race.
So I ran it anyway. I didn’t have a bib, but I had my Garmin and enough experience with racing to know there weren’t going to be any Race Thugs dressed in all-black and ski masks, jumping out of the bushes to pull me off the course. I had my Fuel belt, a bottle of Nuun, an Espresso Hammer Gel and a fire in my belly.
There’s not a whole lot to say about the race, specifically, except that I nailed it. My pacing was pretty even, and my strategy was the same one I always use for races of about this distance- Miles 0-3 should be at the edge of comfortable and comfortably hard, 3 to about 6 should feel like a tempo effort, 6 to 8 should feel very, very hard, 8-9 should have you wondering how much longer you can hold this pace, and 9-10 should have you begging for your mommy.
According to my Garmin, my time was 1:19:35, which is an average pace of 7:57/mile, which is a new PR, nearly a minute faster than my previous fastest time for this distance, three years ago. Both races were at altitude so I think it’s fair to say I am in fact faster, despite being more sleep-deprived, older, and thus more vulnerable to the ill-effects of gravity, specifically in the butt region.
If I I had picked up my bib in advance and had gotten to run as an “official runner” I would have been listed in the results as the 19th woman. My unofficial status does not however change the fact that I still count this as a PR.
And it definitely does not discount Dan’s official awesomeness for getting up with me, even before Sweet Pea was up, driving me to Denver, dropping me off at the start and meeting me at the finish of this point-to-point race and watching Sweet Pea while I ran. It takes a village. Or a supportive husband, at the very least.