On the bus to the starting line (it was a bit too far away for a walk or warm-up jog), I met a fellow event photographer visiting from Philadelphia, and a geologist visiting from Switzerland. Said geologist, a small, very fit-looking woman, mentioned that she could run a 34 minute 10K, but said she was planning to do this race as a fun run (having just run a marathon the previous weekend). When we got to the park and I saw that the current female course record was over 38 minutes, I tracked her down and told her she'd better stick around at the end to collect her winner's ribbon.
Unlike last week's race, this event was well-attended, with over 300 runners, and the weather was dry. Cold for me, though; with the temperature in the lower 50s, I was bundled in a jacket, long pants, and gloves, and still shivering while waiting for the race to begin.
We took off, and almost immediately I had a problem as my pants began slipping down. It was too cold (for me) to wear shorts, and my other running pants and tights were in need of washing, so I'd been happy to find these in my drawer, noting they were a bit loose but not realizing how much. And these were size "S"; really?? As happy as I am to have lost over five inches of belly fat this year, I wouldn't have minded a couple of them returning, temporarily, in that moment. I struggled along, tugging on my waistband frequently, eventually tying my jacket around my waist when it was warm enough to do so, to no avail. I finally gave up about halfway through, realizing the pants weren't loose enough to slip down to my knees or anything; they settled at a lower, uncomfortable but manageable level.
Between the wardrobe malfunction and menstrual cramps, I knew a 60 minute 10K was out of the question. I tried to get the most out of the experience and the park scenery regardless. I enjoyed running on the roads for much of the race instead of sidewalks for a change. We passed the bison meadow, and I heard the runners behind me exclaim with joy at seeing the buffalo in an urban park.
Finished in 1:04:27 (10:23 min/mile pace); not a PR, but still a decent effort. Chatted with a couple of friends and familiar faces in attendance, including my bus-mate who had indeed taken first place, and ahead of all but four of the men to boot. (The second-place woman was over seven minutes behind.)
This event made it a baker's dozen of races for the year: Six 5Ks, five 10Ks, one four-mile, and one half-marathon (13.1 miles). My fitness has improved significantly over previous years. I achieved my goal of a sub-30 minute 5K and have a new PR for the 10K distance. I also ran my longest race in over three years (the half-marathon).
As for 2013 races, I'm already pre-registered for:
Feb 3 Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon (on my birthday!)
Jun 16 San Francisco Marathon (my first full marathon!)
Nov 3 US Half Marathon
Will sign up for as soon as registration opens:
Big Gay 10K (August or September)
Bridge to Bridge 12K (September or October)
DSE club races I anticipate attending:
Jan 13 Ballpark 5K
Mar 10 St. Patrick's Day 5K
Mar 24 Walt Stack 10K
May 12 Mother's Day Marina Green 5K
Jun 2 Crissy Field 5K
Nov 10 Embarcadero 10K
Nov 24 Ferry Building 4M
As always, if you're interested in joining me at any of these races, I could really use the company.