The week before Bay to Breakers was total crap, as we found out on Tuesday that a friend had taken his own life… this led to WAY too much time out on the town as we dealt with the events of the week. I opted to stay home the night before the race because I was just physically and emotionally depleted.
At any rate, I made myself some delicious perogis that sat like a rock in my stress-sensitive stomach, tried to get to sleep early but still was just on edge and slept fitfully….Wasn’t feeling too hot at all Sunday morning, but I took the time over my traditional pre-race breakfast to check my 12K PR, just so I would know.
I should backtrack to let you know that, while I have been running regularly without injury for a few months now, I haven’t been doing ANY fast running, as I promised many a running buddy and The Good Lord Himself (along with Buddha, Diana, and anyone else who would listen) that I’d keep it slow in the hopes of putting an end to this string of stress fractures. As such, I have been doing all my runs at a pretty low HR- 145-150 range, so my goal going into B2B was simply to see what would happen if I kept my HR at 167– what I believe to me my hard-but-maintainable race effort. I laughed when I saw that my PR was 1:02:58 (from last year’s Emerald Across the Bay)— 8-something minute miles. Yeah, not going to happen today, so I’ll just go have a good time.
Oh, and I was also stoked to have the opportunity to represent my favorite local by sporting my Stray Bar undies along the course!
– After arriving at the race start and removing my over-shorts, I was feeling very naked. That is, until I turned my head for a second and looked back to discover the group of 20 men next to me had all stripped to the buff and attached yellow balloons to their wrists. Yes, I was literally in the middle of “those guys.”
– Some motherhumper hit me in the head with a tortilla. I hope they get served a bad jello shot and end up puking on the hill.
– My buttcheeks are shivering. Compared to last year, it is coooold.
– I was able to move into Corral B at the Expo. I think this worked out wonderfully. Mile 1 was kind of crowded, but I still got it done in 8:23, so not too shabby.
– Mile two, still a little crowded, but, honestly not bad at all- not worse than other races. 8:03
– Mile three, including Hayes Street Hill… I’ll admit to walking the 4th of 5 “hillblocks” just to change things up more than anything– also, my HR got above the afore-mentioned 167, so I need to bring it down. 9:21. Yup, there goes any hope of a PR, that is a LOT to make up.
– Mile four, I notice that I have been pacing about 20 steps behind a fellow in a flowered dress, wig, and large schlumby shoulder-bag. He looks a lot like Mama from Mama’s House. He is also completely barefoot. I think I might have passed him further down the road, but for now I just kind of hang in, enjoying the knowledge that the worst is behind me. 8:36
– At some point, when I got into the park, my mindset changed a little. I decided that maybe I would see what I could do, my HR had also come down so that I was really having to push to keep it up more towards 167. The downhills in the park were welcomed…
Mile 5: 7:59
Mile 6 (Holy heck, it’s mile 6 already?!): 7:09, (They had a messed up mile marker around here so I actually had a mile show as I pressed the Lap on my Garmin as a 6-something mile. Crazy! But this is fun!)
Mile 7: 7:06
I make the turn onto the ocean and I hear my friend, Jon Fast, yacking away– he was the official race announcer! At this point, my lungs were about to crap out– that straight-away is longer than you’d like when you come around that corner- but I looked around to see if I could see Jon… I wasn’t going to let him see me finish flat. I also noticed that the clock was 1:01… something. Maybe if I hurry, I can get a chip time sub-1:00! So, I sprint it in as best I can, wondering for the first time whether I might actually puke after the finishline.
Garmin shows 1:00:30, so I knew it was unlikely chip would be sub-1:00. BUT, average pace was 8:02, which is pretty crazy to me! Average Heartrate? On the freaking NOSE: 167.
Also, I PRed for fastest mile run in a race. Of course, I’m beating myself up thinking how cool it would have been to be sub-60 and sub 8:00 pace… and of all the things I could have done to make it happen. Next time!
Anyhow, I know I got a monumental amount of help from those downhills, but I had a great time!
Official chip time: 1:00:27