Fortunately the race didn't start till 9 a.m. I walked to the Ferry Building, arriving much too early as usual. This was the first race since my name change/gender transition, and I was trying not to think about how much I disliked participating in a gendered event and having my previous name and "F" marker on my race bib. I ran into the photographer from my running club and he greeted me by my old name, so I told him my new one, and when he asked why I changed it I explained it was because I identified as gender neutral. He said something like "so you're some of both" and I said no, I'm neutral. He said "so you're in between the two", I reiterated "No, I'm really not either one." I didn't go into the whole male sex identity aspect because it would have just confused him even further.
Then a woman came up and struck up a conversation (we both complained about the pace markers going directly from 9 min/mile to "baby joggers/walkers"). She asked if I was running the Nike Women's Half Marathon. I just sighed and said no, without explanation. I wouldn't have participated in that race even before I transitioned, but it didn't seem worth getting into another awkward conversation with a stranger. We talked about other running-related stuff and the issue of gender didn't come up again, thankfully.
The race began. I had no time goal, knowing I wasn't anywhere near ready for the 60 min PR I'd hoped for since last year; closest I'd come thus far was 1:02:50, on a cool day and a perfectly flat course. Today was warm and I was tired and very under-trained since the marathon in June. I settled into a pace of just under 11 min/mile. It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed the run and the scenery despite the fatigue. There was only one uphill segment, from Aquatic Park to Fort Mason, and I was very familiar with that short ascent. The organizers provided sufficient water (though I brought my own as usual) and the mile markers were fairly accurate.
Finished in 1:08:19 for a pace of 11 min/mile. My field placement was 1748 out of 2488 (70.3%). Slowest 10K finish since last March, but at least I showed up for it. It's been increasingly hard to drag myself out of the house for anything I'm not preregistered for or otherwise obligated to do, lately.
The only other race I'm preregistered for is the US Half Marathon, November 3. With less than a month to go I have barely enough time to prepare for it. I haven't run more than nine miles at a stretch since June, so it will be really tight, and as with today's 10K I'll have to abandon any hopes of setting a PR at this stage. But I'd feel bad backing out of it, especially as the entry fee wasn't cheap (though I did get a discount for signing up very early). Hopefully preparing for this race will get my regular fitness program back on track.