Soo...big race! The Boston Athletic Association decided that a marathon, half marathon, and 5k weren't enough opportunities to parade the world's best runners around Boston so they organized a 10k this year! Thinking it will probably be the closest I'll ever get the Boston Marathon and all of it's glory, I signed up and I made a friend from work sign up with me. I should have known trouble was coming when 2 days before the race my friend told me that I'd probably need to drive to the race because he might be still drunk/hungover from a pub crawl he signed up for the night before the race...
Staying true to his word, he was quite possibly still drunk when I finally got him out of bed and quite the entertainment on the way to the race. Good thing I planned lots of time to get there and get settled because in addition to being drunk (and still wearing the clothes from last night when he got in my car), he also left his race number at home so we had to take care of that. Luckily the BAA was super cool about it and made the switch in a few seconds. We got our super cool shirts and checked his bag o clothes and lined up for the race!
They sent the wheelchairs off first. Three minutes later they sent off the elite runners (these dudes didn't even have numbers on their bibs, they had their names!). Four minutes after that the first of the slow pokes were set off. And as my group was lining up to go they made an announcement that the lead runner had reached the 1 mile mark and was on track to finish the race in 28 minutes! I can't even run a 5k that fast!
We finally got to start and I quickly left my friend in the dust. I had forgotten my GPS watch so I had no idea how fast I was running. I settled into a pace that felt ok and sustainable. Did I mention that the weather was pretty crappy?! It wasn't insanely hot but I'm pretty sure I was in some kind of humidity vortex that was 200% humidity yet the air was still accepting moisture and sucking every ounce of water from my body! I hit mile 1 and doused myself in a cup of water and downed 1 cup. Sadly I didn't look at the time when I started the race so I had no idea how long it had taken me to run the first mile...all I knew was that it was 17:30 after the beginning of the race...Aaaand then around mile 1.4 I started hearing the crowd in front of me cheering and then I saw the lead cop car...WTF! HOW WAS THIS DUDE ALREADY ALMOST DONE WITH THE FLIPPING RACE?! Slightly demotivated, I kept pushing on....
By mile 2 I wanted to rip my clothes off...I was dying in the outfit I decided to wear...I guess I know how to plan better for humidity now? Probably not...I'll probably make the same mistake at least 10 more times. In the first mile the race when under an underpass and I remember thinking "crap, I'm going to have to go uphill towards the end of the race!" In mile 2 the race when through BU...I saw 1 bridge ahead and dealt with it thinking that I'd only had to run up 1 bridge and hoping the turn around was at the top. Boy was I ever wrong...I got to the top of the bridge only to see the crowd ahead climbing another! I stumbled through to the turn around checking my time and trying to do the mental math to figure out how fast I was running each mile after mile 1...I thought it was somewhere around the 9.5 min/mile which was my goal for the race so I was happy. But by the turn around I was starting to fall apart and I tried to slow down a little.
After the turn around I searched the crowd for my friend for about half a mile but couldn't find him...and then I saw the freaking sweeper bus! Demotivator #2, seeing the sweeper not too far behind you! Luckily my iPod could feel my pain and put on some motivating music as I pushed through those two stupid bridges. At least I was on my way back!!! Despite the fact that I was "trying to hold back" my mile splits weren't really getting any longer...whatever, as long as I finish the race without walking. Mile 6 was pretty difficult. Luckily, the race directors saw this coming and threw in an extra water station towards the end. 4 cups of water on my head later (I'm surprised my headphones still worked after this race with all of the water I was dumping on me) I was rounding the corner to the finish line. In my twisted mental math I figured as long as I finished in under 1:07:00 I probably ran the whole race in under an hour...but I had no idea what my real time was.
Slightly worried I waited for my friend for about 20 minutes but he finally showed up at our meeting spot. I guess drunk running isn't as glamorous as it sounds. To quote him...."By mile 2 I could smell the whiskey oozing out of me...by mile 4 I realized I was sober."
Overall it was a fun morning. I met up with some friends after for a quick brunch before heading back home for a shower and a nap.
Oh and my overall time was 58:38! 9:27 pace!! And somewhat amazingly my 5k splits were only 4 seconds off from one another. Yay for being able to self pace!