Packet pickup went quick, and I was glad I only signed up for one shift vs the two I had done last year. I stopped by the Janji booth to stock up on some gear and introduced myself to Dave. I was accepted into their Corp program this summer but since they are Boston based, this was our first time officially meeting. I went home with the intention of sitting for the rest of the day. It didn't go quite as planned, I paced while I tried to decide what to wear, made a pathetic attempt to clean my house, and played with my dog before finally sitting.
Soon it was time for a pumpkin carving party, I headed out feeling exhausted. The party was fun and worth seeing my friends, but I was very tired by the time I got home at 8:30. (Yup, I'm old) I drank water, set an alarm and went to bed.
I was a bit worried about the parking and bussing situation. I was up early, dressed and on my way downtown by 6:10. After a lot of struggle, I decided to wear my new Janji pullover and shorts. Since I knew I'd be standing outside for a while I also wore sweatpants and sweatshirt. I enjoyed my Stewart's coffee and pop tart before making my way to the bus. chatted with the woman I sat with and thankfully she was chatty too. I immediately beelined for the portajohns and then waited.
I chatted with Loretta for a bit, met up with high school friend Lindsey, and introduced myself to a Twitter friend during the cocktail hour before the race. I hopped into the portajohns one last time before ditching my sweatpants and lining up with the coral.
Mentally I broke this run into 3 parts. First 5, second 5 & 5k
First 5 miles
After the National Anthem we were off, I had thought we were going through the parking lot and then a hard left onto the bike path. I was unaware that there were any other trails but was pleased to see a glimpse of the Mohawk River (only sighting of this river for the whole race, despite the race name) as we ran through the town park. I knew I should take it slow but I didn't want to take it too slow (I think 5k mentality struck here) I found a my pace and hit the first mile at 10'17". Right there I knew it was going to be hard work to reach that PR. I was working for the pace, more than I wanted to be.
Some days my shoes have wings, Sunday wasn't one of those days.
I used to run this stretch of the path a bunch when I lived in Cohoes. I knew the route, kept my head forward and ran. I wasn't a slave to my watch, but did check it when it beeped each mile. It was .04 ahead most markers which is likely from the initial weaving. I liked the numbers I was seeing and started to get a bit cocky.
Mile 5 was a lovely downhill but I also started to notice that I had to pee. Knowing I didn't have enough time banked for that, I kept moving forward wishing it was hot and sweaty out so that if I chose to pee myself no one would notice. Since it was neither I just thought a lot about peeing.
I started to feel the effects of starting out too fast, but did my best to hang on. I knew I'd want a max of 9'50" so I was okay with the paces although I obviously wish they were faster and less effort. I ate a chew at mile 7 but I think it was too late. At mile 9 I started to notice that my left IT band was talking to me. I haven't had any injuries (knock knock) since 2010 but wasn't totally surprised since that hip has been tight for the past 2 weeks. It wasn't enough to change my gait (yet) but just something. Just around this time Jen caught up to me. It was great to see her, but my wheels were starting to come off and my head was getting too involved. We shared a few words but all I was focusing on was having to pee (still) and that my knee and quad were starting to talk louder.
I have had some great 3 mile runs during this training cycle. More and more often I've seeing low 9s and high8s. I tried to get my head into the game and pretend that I hadn't already run 10 miles. At this point during Palio I still felt fresh, this time I was honestly just trying to keep moving forward. I know this route well and knew the landmarks. While I'm sure we passed it before, it was here that I remember seeing the Hudson River. Just before running under the 90 bridge I felt like I was running in place. I decided to walk. I walked for about 20 seconds until my friend Lindsey called out from behind to me. It helped me to move forward and we ran the next 1/2 mile together. I had nothing to give for the last mile. No extra kick was left. When the finishers chute finally appeared I focused on keeping one foot in front of the other until I high fived Josh and crossed the finish line. By then I already knew that a PR didn't happen. I was bummed but still hung out with friends, got my first ever post race massage and cheered on some other runners. The race was well organized with lots of water stops (I drank at every other) It's a nice course, but it doesn't come close to my favorite (Carlsbad). But I am still grateful to have been able to train and run this local race.