My journey as a long distance runner who started the sport later in life.
“What could have been is better than what could never be at all,” right? Fellow 80s pop fans will dig it. Today’s race temperature was muggy despite the 7:30 am start. The route, starting at Auditorio San Pedro, is a common one, though running uphill almost directly out of the gate for 500 m takes its toll. I tried my hardest to run fast, but the hill really sapped me, and by the 1K mark I was walking, but just for a bit. I noted a great pace of 8:44/mile and I was thinking to myself, “I really could PR this thing!” My pacing remained well below the necessary 10:00/mile through the 3K mark, but then…
The posted route had us turning well before the usual turnaround for runs along Calzada Del Valle, and I was thinking that I could definitely PR, even with a few more brief walk breaks, if I really wanted to. The trouble was, there were no indicators as to where to turn, and we blew past Rio Tamazunchale, which was contrary to the race’s 5K map. What a bunch of sheep we were, as we kept running towards the Gomez Morin underpass, many of the fastest runners actually under it when an organizer on a motorcycle finally raced up to us to tell us to turn at Rio Moctezuma. I was already about 100 m beyond that cross street too, which was one block east of where we were supposed to have turned.
You can imagine my mental state as I was running the return; not mad, but deflated. The race is for a good cause, and I would never be mad, but I knew that any PR would be marginal, and however many extra meters I had just run would be a death sentence for any hope of it during this particular race.
I made the remains of the race a game with a small boy of about eight years old who had blown by me with his dad at the 1K mark, looking me up and down like, “What is this old Canadian lady doing here if she’s already walking?” The little fellow began to realize that my walk breaks were not holding me back as I repeatedly passed him and his father after every walk break. He blew by me at one point and turned, looked me in the eye, and gave me the “well, come on” signal with his hand. I blew by him later and said, “Niño verde, andale! Si se puede!” This kept me amused and interested, which was a blessing. My 5K time speaks for itself:
I haven’t run a 5K race in a time slower than 33 minutes in about ten years. My RunKeeper said I had run 3.62 miles, which is about 5.8K. RunKeeper also said I have the fastest pace in a week right now, so hey, at least there’s that. 😀