The Northwest weather gave us a little break last weekend, and both Saturday and Sunday were relatively dry and rainless (as much as I can recall). That was a blessing as I had running to do on both days!
Saturday I did the Smelt Run 10K up in LaConner for about the umpteenth time. It went...okay. In the spectrum of my Smelt Run history, my slowest was 2009 at 59:20* (eek, and mind you I had run many faster 10Ks prior to that) and my fastest was 2010, 50:36. This one fell about in the middle, 54:58. About a minute slower than I would have liked under the circumstances. But the wind was really horrible! Really!
At least I looked good in the beginning. Check out that midfoot strike! And yes, my race number was 123.
I always enjoy the Smelt Run in LaConner. You start out running through town and the only hill is a little one in town. Then it is out and back across the flats and it is always windy. This time it was much worse though, at least in the second half! (And usually the out part is worse.)
I do have a couple of complaints about race organization this year. The race is staged at LaConner Middle School, and this year one of the women's bathrooms was closed, so everyone had to line up for what I heard was a single stall bathroom in the gym! It didn't affect me, because I did a warm-up run (about two miles) and made ample use of the free public restrooms in town. But I would have died if I was stuck with waiting for one bathroom.
Also, there was hardly any food after the race! A bowl of pretzels and some oranges and bananas. And all that was almost gone by the time I got to the gym. Granted I finished the race and went to see my parents at the car, so it was more than an hour after the start, but there were still lots of people after me, it's ridiculous that they ran out. Open another bag of pretzels!
Usually we go out to breakfast or lunch after races (this one started at 10 a.m., so I guess it would be lunch), but I didn't really want to stick around any longer. I already spent quite a long time in the gym talking to race friend Becky (who I see at lots of races and is much faster than me, but also one age group older than me), and waiting for the awards. I knew I didn't win anything, but for some reason I stuck around. (That was a little messed up too; they announced the age group awards in a totally random fashion.)
I considered this to be my tempo run for the week--two miles warm-up plus 6.2 at 8:50 pace. (My plan actually called for a 9:44 pace, which was silly, why so slow in a tempo run? I guess that would have been a marathon pace run, actually.)
On Sunday I hit the streets again for my planned long run of 15 miles at 10:29 pace. This went really well. I actually managed to average 10:25 in the first four miles, which sounds like nothing special but that included my warm-up and my mile run up Ingraham Boulevard (hill). After that I picked up the pace for the next six miles (mostly on the Centennial Trail), and all those miles were around 10:00 or faster (at that point my overall average pace was 10:04). Finally, I had 5.5 miles to go and those were all around 10:10-10:15 (though mile 15 was sub-10). Final average pace was 10:07!
I listened to a variety of audio to entertain me during the run....
- First 1.5 miles (or so) - marathon playlist shuffle on iPhone.
- 10:05-11:00 a.m. Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, on NPR (KPLU).
- Sunday jazz on KPLU for about 30 minutes.
- The last 45 minutes of Running with the Kenyans on my phone. I really enjoyed this book! It's about an English runner who goes to Kenya to train. I listened to about an hour at a time on my phone while taking evening walks, and finished it off on the run.
- Then back to the marathon playlist shuffle for the rest of the run.
I like listening to audiobooks or radio on long runs and walks, but prefer music when I want to go faster and need a kick.
*In the winter of 2009, January-March, I got really, really slow. But then I made a comeback over the summer and got almost all of my current PRs in the late summer and fall of 2009! So there is always hope for improvement.