Last Sunday I ran the DSE Walt Stack 10K, named for the founder of my running club; this was his favorite course. I enjoyed it as well, as it went along a familiar and scenic route, through Crissy Field to Fort Point. The last mile was a bit sadistic though, having a run down the hill from the Fort Mason Great Meadow to Aquatic Park and right back up again. Despite the weather being overcast and in the mid-50s, I was sweating! I stripped down to my running bra and shorts; unfortunately I don't think anyone got photos of me. Chatted with the club's unofficial photographer briefly, but was again pretty lonely.
I was unable to do my usual finishing sprint as the finish area was clogged with boaters and others, but I still managed to finish this race in my best time to date, 1:09:13, for a pace of 11:09/mile. I'd only run a couple of 10Ks before: the Big Gay 10K last year (more on that shortly) and one with the Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders back in '99. So I was pleased with my pace and results. I tried to record mile splits, but the markers seemed to be off after the third mile; there was no way I ran mile four in under nine minutes, and even with the hill I'm sure mile six didn't take me over 15! Oh well...
Less than a week later, I was pinning my race number on for the second annual Big Gay 10K. This year's course was different, with the start and finish line at Fort Mason's Great Meadow, so I could walk there easily. (Unlike last week, when I took a delayed and overly long bus ride to Crissy Field, to avoid wearing myself out before the Walt Stack 10K.) I didn't have a fabulous costume planned, but decided at the last minute to wear my (warning, possibly not work-safe) see-through long-sleeved San Francisco skyline shirt (though I wore a sports bra underneath for the run); a couple of people complimented me on it and asked where I got it. (Chinatown, I think.) Others had much more interesting outfits; I took some cell phone snapshots which didn't come out very well. (Link is to my main "Racing" album on Google+, so some other event photos are in there too.)
This race had creative signs with slogans instead of numbers for pace markers. I lined up with those "Bringing Up The Rear", but my pace ended up fast enough that I probably should have moved up to the next sign: "Beyotch, Not In These Shoes!"
The race started in heavy fog, but by the time I got to mile three the sun was out in full force. I was tired but pressed on. I had choked on some water at the first water stop earlier, trying to gulp it down so I could throw the cup away in the trash rather than on the road (this not being a large enough race where that would be appropriate). So I was feeling slightly icky after the first half. But I enjoyed the fact that despite this being the fourth race I've done this summer that went along a similar route, this was the first one that looped around the other side of Crissy Field on the way back. We also had a partial road closure on Marina Blvd for the first part, which was nice although many ended up on the pedestrian/bike path anyway.
I galloped through the finishing chute and ended up with a time a full minute faster than last week's, and over 14 minutes faster than last year's: 1:08:13, for a pace of just under 11 minutes a mile. Much better than I expected, even for this virtually flat course. Even more unexpected was my finishing smack in the middle of the pack, for both females and females aged 40-49; results posted here. I recorded my mile splits as: 1. 10:56.61 / 2. 10:47.54 / 3. 11:05.66 / 4. 11:07.38 / 5. 10:46.44 / 6.2. 13:27.43 (no mile 6 marker).
I was again lonely at this race (I went with a friend last year, but he's currently nursing an injury). Other than the people asking about my shirt and the woman in the Super Mario costume who I asked to take my photo, I didn't really talk with anyone. But I was very happy to find vegan cupcakes from Fat Bottom Bakery after the race, though they weren't free (I had brought just enough money to buy one, fortunately). I also devoured Zico coconut water (a new favorite), PB&J graham crackers, and Pop Chips, and netted a couple more mini Luna Bars for my stash.
The next race I'm planning to run is the DSE Marina Green 5K on September 4, so I have a few weeks to recover. Gotta keep running!