So - last December, I decided to push myself and sign up for the 10k at Air Force. I'd never done a 10k at that point, and REALLY wanted to get that instant PR. I had been doing a LOT of 5ks (slowly) with a couple of friends of mine, and wanted to start making myself get serious about it again. So, training was...well...sporadic...but...adequate...I guess? Kinda? Well, I knew it wouldn't be great, I knew there would be walk breaks (especially with all the stinkin' hills in the first half of it), and pain, but it wouldn't be a total slog either, so I was actually excited at the starting line. Haven't felt that in quite some time!
The national anthem is performed, I witness the fact that a P51 Mustang and an F22 Raptor can actually perform a fly-over in formation at exactly the same speed (I was seriously impressed by this), and then a cannon goes off to signal the start. Well, I ASSUMED that anyway, since I couldn't think of any other reason a cannon would be fired at 7:30 on a Sunday morning on an Air Force base. So, we started the "starting line shuffle", and were eventually off.
The first mile actually went REALLY well, and I got there much sooner than I had expected to, so I had a pretty good idea that my goal of finishing in under 90:00 might be possible (I know, I know...slow...yes, I am slow). The only bad part of the mile 1 marker in this race is the hill that comes with it. It's...long. And...steep. Well, kinda long and steep. Not like Flying Pig long and steep, but it's not exactly nothing, either.
There were a few walk breaks on the longer/steeper sections of the uphills over the first three miles, but I noticed that my running segments were faster than I had anticipated, so I was still on track for my goal. At the mile 4 marker, I knew the hills were done, and we heard the start of the half, and saw the mass of humanity pass by on the other side of the road, which was kinda cool. Not going to lie - I was really wishing I was one of them...wanting to be back in that shape. But, I'll be there again soon enough.
Around 4.5 miles in, a friend of mine passed me and said hi, and that was a big help. I was starting to flag out a bit, thinking too much and not just going. Mind all over the place, but mostly on one thing...sausage McMuffin with egg. Yeah. No clue. But there it was. And I was obsessed. I NEEDED a breakfast extra value meal number 2 with a large coffee. I would not be happy until I had it. And that meant I had to hit my goal time so I could make it to McDonalds before breakfast ended.
Strangest motivation I've ever experienced, but hey - it got me past marker 5, and at that point I knew that barring anything seriously bad happening in the next 1.2 miles, I'd make my goal. And the sausage mcMuffin with egg was that much closer. And calling my name. Louder and louder...
I made the turn towards the museum, which was a bad spot for me when I did the half there...total Poltergeist moment where it seemed like every step I took toward the building made it get farther and farther away...especially since the finish line was directly to my left across a grassy area...well, no Poltergeist moment this time, and I could see the last miler markers (26/6, 13) up ahead around the next turn, so I picked my head up and made it a point to actually enjoy this section of the course this time. After all - it's pretty cool running under the noses of big Air Force planes, right? Right! I heard my wife screaming for me (in a good way...not the way I normally hear at home) (just kidding...I think), and was able to push a bit to the finish line with an official finish time of 1:28:17. Woo hoo! Beat my goal by almost two minutes! Instant PR, and hopefully one that will be easy to improve upon when I do my next one.
So - Next stop, Flying Pig half. Who's with me?
Link to my photos...and yeah - I know...pick my head up...I'm working on it...lol