So, yesterday I ran a 10K run. My goal was to finish in under 66 minutes (just under an 11 minute mile). My secret goal was to finish in 1 hour, 2 minutes – a 10 minute mile. My official time was 1:01:43 – which is a 9:56! I was so excited! Actually, I still am. My last (and actually, my first) 10K, I finished in 1:13 something, which made me last in my age group. I was 66/107 this time (although I tied with the person in 65th place, and am not sure why they got to be 65 & I didn’t). My pace improved by almost 2 minutes/mile in less than a year.

It was a pretty exciting race. I had a rock in my shoe at the beginning, and had to stop to get rid of it (hmmm…do you think that took 1 minute 43 seconds? probably not). Right on schedule, my knee started to hurt at minute 22, but we had a little chat, and it calmed down. I was running pretty consistent 10 minute miles (my first was 10:30, which means the shoe incident probably took only about 30 seconds, which could have bumped me into 64th place), but the last 2 miles I just felt so strong.

At one point, we were running on Front Ave next to the train tracks. About 1/4 mile ahead was where the race crossed the tracks. And, there was a train coming. About 18 or so runners jumped the tracks to run between the tracks and a fence. The train engineer seemed displeased, but who wants to stop & wait for Amtrak to go by when you have a good pace going?

Right at mile 5, we crossed the Broadway Bridge, and this is where all my hill running really paid off. It wasn’t a big hill, but it seemed to get a lot of people. I passed a couple women I’d been leapfrogging with all race on this hill – and a couple more on the final hill to the finish line.

I was pretty excited when I saw my time – knowing that I’d hit under a 10 minute mile – and may have done a little dance of joy/scream of excitement. And then, a stranger hugged me. Not only that, he started hugging other people, and pretty soon I was in a group hug with a bunch of sweaty strangers. Anyone who knows me well is now laughing their ass off, because I don’t hug. Seriously. If I haven’t seen you for a while, I might hug. But I do not randomly hug. And I especially do not touch strangers.

Other than the trauma of the hug (and the long line for the free food/beer – which I did not get because I do not need a bratwurst at 10 AM, and I had beer at home), it was an excellent race. The Cheetah, who was going to be taking it easy and doing a slow run, finished in 52:35 (which is an 8:28 pace). She waited for me at the finish line anyway.

The rest of the day was spent eating (hazelnut marionberry pancakes…yum), lounging and drinking (water AND beer). Then, some gardening. Our lawn is starting to look really nice – it’s kind of exciting.

And today? 2nd to last official Monday of working. Which is also exciting.

The knee is feeling okay today – just a little wonky – although it was pretty sore after the run. I iced, and I’m trying to do some strengthening exercises. I’m going to swim tonight, and be nice to it at my weights class tomorrow morning.

And, in summary, woot!

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