I've gotten bitten by the race bug. I have become obsessed with the idea of smashing previous PRs and running like the wind. Two recent good races and suddenly I think I am Prefontaine or something.
Ok, I am not that delusional. He was short, though. Anyway.
I have spent hours this last week analyzing race calendars, which races to squeeze in, checking every neighboring state for their races, etc. I have the Long Beach Half which I'm already registered for and I'm really close to pulling the trigger on the Snow Canyon Half Marathon 3 weeks later. We can either stop in Vegas for fun or go to Zion's National Park for a day or something for Sunday and Monday. I know a day is not enough for that big a park, but whatever. Better than not going at all, I say.
My next race is this Saturday morning - 8 miles on 50% paved/50% dirt. There appear to be some gnarly hills thrown in there for giggles, but my running pal is all about doing her pre-race due diligence and found (via Google imagery) that the hills are paved. I was about to say "sweeeet" but then hills are not really sweet so maybe then it's more like "eeeehh."
My last race was a 10K last month, where there were numerous organizational issues that the race directors failed to iron out (it was like the 30-something-th running of it so one would *think* it would be like a well-oiled machine by now). Issues like, placing the porta potties on the other side of the start-line where you can't see them if you are waiting behind the start-line. That was cool. We asked people around us - they had no clue where they were either. I had resigned myself to pissing and/or shitting my pants mid-race. 15 seconds into the race, I saw an abundant row of blue potties in a parking lot. "Eff this, " I said, and paused my Garmin to get my bidness done. So that screwed up my official time. Going off the Garmin, I completed it at 8:13 pace. Had the unfortunate location of the potties not transpired, I would have had an official PR for a 10K. Instead here I am sitting here trying to explain that "I really ran something like a 51:00, but the shitters! There were no shitters at the start!" blah blah blah. Sounds like excuses, excuses.
I am hoping that this race - which, is the 56th running of it (seems like our races in San Diego are older than Grandma Moses) - has its logistics squared away. If you can't figure it out in 56 years, it's never happening. I'm not asking for lots of frills. Just a place to park my ass pre-race, and someone (or something) to efficiently record the times at the end of the race. The last two races I have been plagued with both issues - the last 5K in Temecula, they never posted results that's how clueless they were about race organization (nevermind the 15K back in January with the human traffic jam at the end, and a course .3 miles too long).
I think I will aim for somewhere in the 8:30-8:45 pace for the race on Saturday. I'm really not sure what to expect of myself. The last month, I have consistently been around 9:05 for my long runs (6, 7, and 8 mi). Today I did 4 miles with 2 one-mile repeats @ 8:13 /.25 @ 10:00 recovery in between, on the 'mill, and was only feeling slightly winded the last .10 of each repeat. Who knew that 10 pounds of weight would make this much difference? Earlier this year, 7.3 on the treadmill was only something I would run for 400 meter repeats.
Who sounds like a narcissist after all this yapping about my running?