Has another year come and gone already? I really enjoy this local race and this was my 5th time participating. My main goal was to set a personal record and to run faster than an average pace of 6 minutes 30 seconds a mile for the 13.1 miles. And I did it!
Another guy showed up who was nearly exactly as fast as I was and we stuck with each other the whole race. I gradually sped up and so did he, with him running slightly in front of me for nearly the whole race. He definitely pulled me along and perhaps I pushed him, as well, since I was breathing down his neck for many miles.
Around mile 10 I was a few steps behind him when we both grabbed a cup of water. For some reason, drinking the water interrupted my breathing and running and I slowed down briefly, but then I felt especially tired. The guy in front of me pulled away to at least a hundred feet. I put in a couple of surges of effort in the last two miles and I nearly caught up to him, but he must have increased his speed as well.
As we finally approached the finising area, I felt like I was "red-lining" my heart and I put in one last big push for the last quarter mile, but I just wasn't quite able to catch him. He sped up as I got closer and I finished about 20 feet behind him. My average pace, according to my Garmin watch, was 6 minutes 26 seconds a mile and I hit my highest heart rate I've ever seen -- 184 . I'm happy! I'm not sure of my official time yet, but my watch showed 1 hour 24 minutes 26 seconds.
Thanks to everyone who showed up and I really appreciated the shouts of encouragement during the race.
My 6 year old daughter, Claire, successfully ran the entire 3K course! It was wonderful seeing her at the finish line. Thank you, Jennifer for being there for us and for watching Claire for so long.
Thank you, George Miller, for sharing all of these photos, for supporting the Coastside Running Club, and for holding my keys! Thank you, Ken and Dave B. for coming out and saying "hi" even though you weren't running. Congratulations to my friends, Julie and Dave, Jenna-from-Pacifica, Lynn, and new club member, Margaret. And it was great seeing Franz and his family, who ran the 3K.