Alex and I ran the Presidio 10 for the third time on Sunday. It’s a nostalgic one because it was the first race I ever ran. When I ran it back in 2009, I chose the 10K and finished with a runner’s high so high that it motivated me to sign up for countless races since.
Sunday’s run was a little less euphoric; while being sick and generally unmotivated for the last month, my running ground to a halt. Alex has been kicking ass (literally) at martial arts, with less time for running. Bottom line: we were undertrained.
Instead of beating ourselves up about it, we decided to go out there and run easy and have a good time. Even while running easy, 10 miles is no joke, so I was nervous about how it would go. The racecourse is beautiful, winding through the Presidio and going across the Golden Gate in Marin for a minute before turning around and running back.
We got there early and picking up our race bibs was super easy. They did a wave start this year, and I found myself a little annoyed at the announcer. First, he said the faster, stronger runners should line up near the front. Yes, some runners are definitely faster than me, but stronger? It irked me but I let it go because I figured I was just being picky and sensitive. Then, later he called them the disciplined, dedicated runners and I rolled my eyes so hard. Some of us are disciplined and dedicated and still run slower than a nine-minute mile. Plus, there’s nothing like starting off a race after hearing you’re not a disciplined or dedicated runner. When it was our turn, he said we were the “real runners” with no explanation of how, since we were clearly not dedicated or disciplined, and started us of with a super slow song. I was annoyed, clearly, but Alex and I just started cracking jokes about it, which made me laugh. (I want to point out that I was not a dedicated, disciplined runner in training for this race, but a) I have trained diligently in the past and still run a 9+ min/mile race, and b) I know lots and lots of runners that train hard and run at lots of different speeds, so why label it?)
The race has several hills at the beginning, and I found that they were less painful than I was expecting, considering my hill running has been nil. I like to think that all the squats, lunges, and deadlifts I’ve been doing have paid off. I did find myself really sinking into my legs and my butt to power myself up the hills and it really helped. Alex was cracking me up the whole time by making lots of jokes and being loud and goofy; I’m not sure our fellow runners appreciated it as much as I did, but the laughing helped propel me. I can’t wait to get our race pictures, because I’m pretty sure there are some ridiculous ones.
The last two miles of the race were flat, but straight painful. When I mentioned to Alex I was hitting the wall, he said “do you need some Kool-Aid?” and I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe. Now I want to make a sign involving the Kool-Aid Man breaking through the wall and yell “OH YEAH!” at the next race where I’m a spectator.
Near the end of the race, I came up behind a guy who started saying things like, “don’t wait for me! You can do it!” I appreciated the motivation and pulled past him. He and Alex proceeded to run together for a bit and I could hear them behind me trading encouraging words and it was really awesome. He ended up pulling up next to me at the finish line, which made me sprint all out at the end. Me, him and Alex all finished at the same time and high-fived. Thank you, random man, who helped me finish strong!
The race seemed to be more poorly organized this year than years past, and the line for t-shirts was literally so long I couldn’t see the end. We grabbed some organic birch tree water (yes, seriously) and hightailed it out of there. I don’t really need another race t-shirt anyway, but I was a little sad to not at least see it!
We ended up running 10.17 miles in 1:37, at a pace of 9:33 per mile. I’ll take it! Considering the state of my running recently, it wasn’t half bad. We also had a blast, and it was nice to not take the race so seriously and just be goofy!
We just signed up for our first Seattle race in September – the Beat the Blerch 10K, based on this Oatmeal comic which is amazing. I was leaning towards the half marathon, but Alex pointed out that we’re going to be moving and hanging out with people and traveling and who knows what our schedule will look like. The 10K is a good distance to train for, and it’s also a good distance if training plans go awry. I’m really looking forward to hooking up with the running community up there!