Training for a marathon has been a long journey. It has been 10 months now of training and I have seen some really good results. If you go by just the numbers they are impressive (at least I think they are). From the beginning of the year I have run/walked/hiked 800.6 miles in a 157 hrs. (that is the equivalent of 6.5 days of continual movement), and burned over 150,000 calories by exercise. Through all this work I have lost 96 pounds in the last year (107 from my very highest).
As impressive as all of this work has been every once in a while I find myself still needing to test myself out to see if I am truly still on track. Throughout the year I have done this in various ways. To test my distance endurance I have done two official half marathons this year, to test my hill climbing I jogged up Mt. San Jacinto (second highest peak in Southern California), and this weekend to test my speed I signed up for the Totally Awesome 80s 10K Race in Pasadena.
I picked this race because the course looked pretty flat and it also looked pretty fun. First and foremost I don’t think I have ever seen that much neon in one place ever. Not even in the 80s! The pre and post race party was very fun. Lots of people were dressed in costume, they had the deloreon from Back to the Future, lots of fun 80s music, vendors, taco trucks, fun contests, and the finishers medal was shaped like a cassette tape which I thought was cool. I have nothing but good things to say about the pre and post-race parties.
The race itself was not as fun. A 10k for those not on metric is equivalent to 6.2 miles. There were about five thousand runners there and so they had to let us out in waves. They let the 5K racers go first, but a lot of 5kers are slow, so it took about an hour before the 10Kers were let loose. I was in the second wave of 10k racers. The course was flat so I was able to go at a good pace, but I was having a hard time passing up 5kers. The course was very narrow and to get around people I had to go into the street which did not make the police happy, they barked at me on their speakers every time I passed a slower runner. I did a personal best on the course, but I think I could have done better if I was not zig zagging so much. There was only one water station on course and it ran out of water, which because of our late start was bad because it was hot. I think as far as the running part went a lot of people did not finish.
Luckily for me, I did finish. Despite the setbacks I was still able to do a personal best. I finished in an official time of 1hr. 2 mins. and 36 secs. (a 10:06 /min per mile pace). I came in 389 of 1073 of the timed finishers. This put me solidly in the top third of the race! Looking at my pace calculators it also tells me that I am running at a good enough speed that I can reasonably expect to finish my full marathon in under 5 hours (11:30 /min per mile pace), which is exactly where I want to be and that is awesome!