What a fun race! I forgot to tell you my goals last night. So I'll tell you now before going into my race report. My first goal, as always, is to have fun. Beyond that I thought a lot about this one and decided that an 11 min/mile average pace would be doable and a really good goal. My training runs have been 12 minutes and slower but they have also been much longer than 6.2 miles. So here goes.
Saturday night/Sunday morning marked the end of daylight savings time. Still I was in bed at 11/10 for a good night's sleep. I was up at 6 am for breakfast of bagel and peanut butter, vitamins and water. I also took a throw away bottle of water with me. I packed a bag of dry clothes as, once again, it was raining this morning. All of the training runs in the rain with USAFit Philly were going to come in handy. If nothing else, it meant I just didn't mind it (or care) anymore. My only regret is I forgot to pin a Phillies Rally Towel to the back of my shirt.
As I headed north on 95, I made a last minute decision to take the Ben Franklin Bridge instead of the Walt Whitman because it was not going to close until 7:45 and it was only 7:15 as I approached. The traffic once I was over the bridge was heavy though. It took close to 30 minutes to get from the bridge to Campbell Field. I parked, walked over to the field and picked up my packet and t shirt. I went back to the car to drop everything off, pin my bib to my shirt and put the timing chip on my shoe. I double checked that my car key was tied to my other shoe, locked the car and headed back to the stadium. As I climed the steps they were singing the National Anthem.
The runners and walkers were assembled on the field (but not on the tarp... being instructed not to do so). At 8:15 we began the walk to the base of the New Jersey side of the bridge. At 8:30 the gun went off and so were we. Funny note: just before the gun went off I looked down and saw two nickels on the ground. I had no pockets though so I left them there.
So the first three miles of the run were on the bridge. Two up hills and two down hills. I imagined the long slow up hill to be Edgmont Street in Media. A street I have run many times in both directions. Although the bridge climb was probably longer it wasn't any steeper so I had not trouble with this picture. I attacked it at my own comfortable pace. I thought too that the Valley Forge loop, which has a much steeper hill to start, prepared me well for this. I passed mile marke 1 at 10:54. Ok, so far so good. As I crested the top of the hill I lengthened my stride and let gravity help me down the other side. Around the turn on the Pennsylvania side and now back up to the top. At mile 2 the clock said 20:10. I must have picked up time on the downside. Just past mile 2 I passed NJ Governor Corzine and his bodyguard. At mile 3, at the bottom of the hill and the end of the bridge, he passed me but this was also where he stopped. I continued on the rest of the course; a flat 3.2 miles.
Interestingly the next mile was the same route I took driving off the bridge when I arrived earlier. We ran through this faster than I drove it! I forget the clock was at mile 3 but I remember still being on track.
Before I move on I have to comment about runners trying to pass each other. I thought to myself as I ran that the runners would have done well to think of themselves in cars as they passed each other. When you pass someone in a car, you check first before pulling in front to see that there is room. Twice, I was almost clipped by someone who passed and then slowed down as they moved in front of me. HELLO!!!!
Anyway, back to the route. Mile4 was finished in over 11 minutes. I'm not sure what that was all about except that maybe coming off the downhill of the bridge I slowed as I adjusted my gait to run on flat instead of downhill. The final clock (except for the finish) was at mile 5 and I was back on track there. Just after mile five the group running in cadence came up behind me. I managed to stay in front of them the rest of the way and found it amusing to listen to them. One ditty was about Fred and Barnie; the chorus being Yabba-Dabba-Do in cadence. Think about it.. it's kind a cool!
As we came in view of the bridge and the stadium again I picked up my pace a little and crossed the finish with the clock reading 1:04:28. I knew an 11 min pace would be 1:08 and change so I knew I had made my time goal! Yay me. My chip time according to the website was 1:04:04; average pace 10:19. Not bad for an old woman gonna be 50 in 45 days!
After the great long run last Sunday (22 miles) and the great race today I'm feeling really good about Goofy. Of course there is still the Philly Half, November 23rd. I haven't forgotten that and I plan to have fun and enjoy that and my remaining training runs but I'm feeling much more confident that Goofy is doable and will be enjoyable!
Clock Time 1:04:28
Chip Time 1:04:04
Overall Place 1741 / 2986
Division Place 76 / 106