How the hell did I PR that race? Yesterday was crazy long: up at 5:30am, then all morning with the CHLA team meeting and helping with the ocean 101 clinic, then a two hour workout and two birthday parties. Didn’t get to bed until 1am, then up again at 6:30am for today’s race. Let’s just say I was pretty tired.
Sofia and I got up together as she and her parents were going to walk the event to celebrate her mother’s having recently lost over 40lbs. We walked the mile from our house to downtown Culver City and we parted at the Expo wishing each other luck. I had time to say hello to Michael B. and Charrissa J. before the race to talk strategy, then saw T-Bart who was banditing the race for fun just 5 weeks out from his next Ironman. T-Bart gave me his method: hammer the first mile and use it as money in the bank. Second and third miles could be slower but if the beginning was fast enough my legs would be used to going fast. More importantly, it was only 3 miles – for the distances we’re doing 20 minutes of running would be easy. Ironically I ended up giving Charrissa the advice that would work well for myself: don’t look at the watch and use the race as a way to find the love in running.
I looked at my watch once, at mile 1, and it read 6:28. There’s two reactions I could have had: “whoa, doggie! Slow it down. You can’t maintain that! You’re gonna blow up.” And then the reaction I did have, which was, “whoa, doggie. That’s fast. Cool.” And perhaps more importantly, “it’s only 3 miles. RUN.” So I did.
End result was a 20:49 finish, which means I ran 6:42 miles. Cool.
Impressively, Michael B. went sub 20 minutes and took a podium spot for our age group, T-Bart would have taken fifth place if he was wearing a chip, and Charissa J. beat her own time goals handily. My wife and her parents had a great time walking the course, and friend Tim Bomba announced the race. Culver City has always felt like Mayberry to me, a small town nestled in the hear of Los Angeles. Today certainly confirmed that feeling with a sense of camaraderie, familiarity, good people and great race results.