Yesterday morning, I did the Charles Harris 10K. I have done this race once before, two years ago. Back in 2009, it was 26 degrees at the start. This morning was a much more temperate 37.
The race starts at a high school that’s very close to my house. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there, so I had to drive my car to the finish and take a shuttle back to the start.
After several bad runs in the past few weeks, I was ready to have a good race. I really wanted to break an hour. Running goals are good and bad for me. Good, obviously, because they challenge me to really give it my all, but bad because I get so disappointed if I don’t achieve them. I knew that I’d have to run a 9:40 mile to break an hour and I thought that sounded reasonable, especially since the course is a net downhill.
My friend Joan was running the race too. We ran the first mile together and then got separated. They had big time clocks at every mile marker. We crossed the first at 10:01. We were sort of in the back to begin with so I knew that I was on pace.
Although very well organized, this race is a pretty boring course. It’s basically down an ugly main road. Every time I got to the next mile marker, I was surprised that my pace wasn’t slowing down. Even around the midway point, where there was a bit of an uphill, I was on target. There were three water stops along the route and I stopped and walked through them all.
When I got to mile 5 and the clock read 48 something, I knew that a sub-hour race was doable. Fortunately, there was a big half-mile or so downhill, so I tried to pick up the pace as best I could. The last half mile of the race was rough – you run past where your cars are parked and into a neighborhood. The end is near, but you just can’t see it yet and it seemed like I was running through the neighborhood forever! But finally, the finish line was in view.
When I got close enough to read the clock, it said something like 59:50. I knew that I wasn’t going to get a clock time of less than an hour, but I was pretty sure that I started at least 30 seconds after the gun.
Gun time: 1:00:06
Chip time: 59:32
It wasn’t a PR, but I’ll take it. Sub-60 10K! It’s only the second time I’ve done that.