This was my third race with my brother (the first two were the mud run and the Skippo), and it's the third race he's run hungover and beaten me. Beaten me badly. In this one, however, he added the new twist of beating me while wearing his dress clothes from the wedding reception that precipitated the hangover.
As you can imagine, he got his share of attention in the outfit. The story behind it: he had a choice between moderation at the reception and getting in a good run OR getting his drink on and letting the run go as it went. Since he chose the drinks, he figured he'd shoot himself in the foot all the way and run in his wedding clothes, too. He did, however, opt for running shoes over the dress shoes...otherwise I might have had a chance at beating him.
So...this race was also my entry in Stefano's Virtual 10K. The rules: wear something black, complete the run between 11/8 and 11/28, and let him know...which I will, just as soon as I finish this post.
I had a terrible time deciding what to wear this morning because of the temperature. I ended up opting for a compression top underneath a long-sleeved...I guess it's a bike jersey (?) that Jeff picked up for $3 at Goodwill. I was leaning towards a technical T-shirt over the compression top instead (which would have been a better choice), but was swayed by the chilly temps at the start and the handy pockets in the back of the jersey (so that I didn't have to stuff my phone in my sports bra).
This is my usual ill-advised outfit for my pre-dawn morning runs. (Yes, I know I need to get some reflective clothes. As it is, I watch for headlights and hop onto the sidewalk when necessary) I usually feel like I'm dressed like a ninja. An honorary Black Knight is a nice change. :)
It was chilly at the start, though not bad when you were in the sun. Unfortunately, the start was all shaded.
The race route was an out and back along the Great River Road, and it's a beautiful course. Bluffs on one side and the river on the other.
If you look at the bluffs in the picture on the right, you can see the painting of the Piasa Bird, a local legend.
The first two miles didn't feel great, but when I looked at my time at the 2-mile mark I was just under a 9 min/mile pace. Jim (AKA Drunk Brother) passed me around the 3 mile mark, maybe a little before, yelling "Go Team Hangover!!" I grabbed my phone to take a picture. That's him, directly in front of me, in the white shirt. The only reason he was ever behind me is that he started the race 3 minutes late because the bathroom lines were so long. Yeah, that's right...he started 3 minutes behind me and passed me before the 3 mile mark. Hungover. Wearing dress clothes.
The next two miles were a little bit of a drag, but right around the 4-mile mark, the front runners started coming back towards us. I cheered for every single one of them, and focusing on them gave me a boost. I could feel myself pick it up some. I saw Christopher from Daily Mile and was able to cheer him on.
Right before the turnaround I saw my friend Wade ("Oh, I'm guessing I'll be running about a 10 min/mile.") Yeah, 10 min mile OR 9:30. Whatever. He beat me by a few minutes. Good thing I'm not competitive or anything. I might be upset. :)
Usually, at least lately, my long runs start out kind of crappy (1 mile down...9 to go...) and end with me feeling stronger and better. On this one, I'd say the middle was the best time. Cheering on the front runners, watching for my brother, seeing a couple friends and waving...it was all pretty distracting in a good way.
It was a little tricky figuring out my 10K time since the course was only marked at mile intervals, so I checked my time at the 6 mile mark (56:04) and my 1-mile time for mile 6-7 (9:38), and best as my poor math-impaired brain can figure, it comes to 58 minutes for my 6.2 (a new PR, by about 35 seconds). Feel free to check the math.
My distraction on the way back came in a less supportive form. I kept passing this guy who was walking. He was pretty distinctive because he was a pretty big guy, not heavy but big. And he was walking. But I kept passing him. So eventually I noticed him run past me after I passed him. And then I passed him walking. When he ran by me, I said, "Leapfrog!" "Huh?" he asked. "We keep passing each other," I told him. "Oh."
So the next time I passed him, I ran just a hair harder (harder, by this point in the race, a very relative term). When he pulled up next to me, I kept even with him. And he dropped. That's right, buddy...you just got chicked. :) And, ok, maybe his run/walk strategy just happened to coincide with my run/run pace. But I still appreciate the push he gave me.
The very last mile flat out sucked. It seemed like it took forever. I wanted sooo badly to walk. Luckily, my friend Gary was there near the end to cheer me on and remind me to...
It was very cool having my own cheering section. :) These pictures were taken before the start of the race, but seeing Gary at the end was the shot of encouragement I needed.
And, of course, seeing my brother, who was nice enough to wait around for 6 minutes or so to cheer me on, as well. 6 minutes. Sigh.
Jim's chip time--1:28:05 (gun time, 1:31:16)
My chip time--1:34:31 (gun time 1:35:41)
Hmmm...so now that I look at that, he only had to actually wait for me for 4 minutes. Not quite as bad.
I love this guy, and I miss him now that he's living in Wisconsin. With him around, there's always a good story. And even though he beats me every time we do a race together, I'm so glad I get to run with my brother.
Now, our marathon is exactly 6 months from Wednesday. I need to get cracking on my training...logging miles, anyway, the plan starts 16 weeks out. And get him trashed the night before the race. And if all that fails, I'm bringing a baseball bat with me.