Friday, November 26, 2010

Rochester Thanksgiving Day 8K

Yesterday, I ran in the first ever Rochester Thanksgiving Day 8K race downtown. I'd never run a debut race before, plus I didn't feel like driving out to Webster to run the Turkey Trot with 3,000 other people, so the downtown race it was. The course was okay - no real hills, which was nice, especially considering that it was a cold and windy morning. But I'm not a fan of courses that simply go out halfway, turn around and then follow the exact same route back.

I don't know if it was the cold weather or if I went out too fast or what, but the first half of the race wasn't pleasant. My chest hurt from breathing in the cold air and I thought I was going to have a bad race. Why did I think this would be a good idea? Why wasn't I still under the covers right now or drinking hot chocolate or otherwise indoors like a normal person? But then I moved on to more productive thoughts like "You can slow down if you want but you have to keep running." and "So what if you have a bad race? It will make you stronger or build character or something." and "I'm going to eat so much pie later." And then I started feeling better. When some dude passed me around the 7K mark, I said "Good job" and he replied "Stay strong" so I figured I'd try to stay with him until the end. But when the finish line came into sight, I took off and ended up finishing before him. Though I did get beat by a guy wearing a turkey hat. As he ran by me I told him I liked his hat and he said something I couldn't understand. (I think there is a direct correlation between running speed and the tendency for your exclamations to come out like grunts instead of actual words.) Afterwards, the Stay Strong dude told me I had a nice kick to the finish.

My time was 36:33 (59th out of 308), which was faster than I'd expected. I know I'll never be fast enough to win a race. I just want to keep improving or, failing that, at least keep going and enjoying myself.

This morning I went to the Waffle Run at Fleet Feet and ran the 5 mile route. Back at the store, they served free waffles and sausage, but I left after the run because I had other things to do and because I didn't really know anyone there. I still haven't gotten the hang of the social activity aspect of running. But I like running with other people, even if I don't have much to say yet.

Lyric of the moment: "And if I need a rhythm, it’s gonna be to my heart I listen..."

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