Ran the race yesterday. PF Chang’s is always an experience. I met my friends at the parking lot (I actually ended up getting there right after them and parked right next to them) and we walked to the start together. I had put in a time that allowed us to go to the second corral so we did not have to wait very long once we got there. Starting temp was 42 degrees. Perfect for running. Final temp was 60, not perfect but much better than it could have been. When we started, it was still a bit dark so we did not have to run into the sun. We did not have to run into the sun nearly all day and by the time we ran facing the sun, we only had 3 miles left and the sun was high enough to not be in our eyes. These were nearly perfect conditions for running. 10 degrees cooler and it would have been perfect for full marathon running.
The plan was for Louis and I to run our race and because Lonnie was running his first race, he would meet us at the car later. Lonnie stayed with us the whole race. I am proud of him for that. There were other firsts in this race as well. Louis and I ran the full race without stopping to walk. I had only run 8 miles continuously, once. Louis had run 6 miles. We have both gone way farther in distance (Louis does triathlons) but not without stopping to walk. Apart from (Louis) stopping to pee 3 times and 10 second walks through a few early water stations, we ran the whole thing. Last weekend proved to me that I could do this. I feel confident in a qualifying time in the 2014 PF Chang’s.
I went into a meditative space during this race. Shortly before half way mark I began to meditate while I was running. I started to get lost in the experience. I was aware of my surroundings and compensating for the hills and road but I was not putting my attention on anything else like I have done in the past. When I run with Louis, we chat but I never really find that focus. I found it yesterday like I found it last weekend. I enjoy the company of my friends. I do not feel the need to converse anymore though. I feel less fatigue while running when in the flow/zone. I feel connected while there too. I still feel the presence of my friends but my world is narrowed to the running yet it is expanded to all that is around me.
It was fun. I finished in 2:17:42, a 10:31 pace. I finished 538 out of 856 men in my age group, 3302 out of 5500 men. 6260 out of 13344 total people. The winner finished in 1:05:25. Awesome. I want to be there. I need to train at another level to get to that point. Fast plus distance is a completely different race from what I have been doing the last 6 years. I. Want. That.