My second race of the year is in the books. My city has a Memorial Day 3K Fun Run which I run every year.
It's flat, and fast for reasons which I'll disclose later. I walked to the race's starting point, about a mile from my house, and settled into the back half of the pack because I wasn't intending to run very fast out of deference to my umbilical hernia repair operation five days earlier.
I couldn't even break into a trot for the first five minutes of the race due to the congestion caused by thousands of participants and dozens of running strollers crowding onto the two-lane roadway which comprised the first half-mile of the course. The hundreds of walkers and many walking stroller pushers who had lined up in the first half of the pack made it impossible to penetrate into the race course for several blocks.
The roadway broadened after the first turn and sideways darting movement from curb to curb finally made running possible. I moved very slowly and settled into a slow plod.
Ten minutes into the race I was running unencumbered and I jogged along, focusing on my body. I could feel a dull pain where the incision on my stomach was but so long as I ran very slowly and didn't get too out of breath, I felt fine except for the tenderness and some general fatigue.
It was hot though, with the temperature in in the eighties and the humidity high. As sweat started to soak my shirt, I could see the finish line a couple of blocks away.
My watch had just rolled past 19 minutes but I resisted the urge to pick up my pace and dash to it. Although I wanted to break twenty, I didn't want to hurt myself.
My watch read 20:36 when I passed the finish clock of this self-timed fun run. The race clock, however, read 19:47.
I decided to record the sub-twenty time in my personal race ledger, as that was the "official" time. I felt good about completing this twenty minute jog, and used the run to show myself that I shall shortly be back to running after last week's surgery.
Now for the reasons why this 3K race is so fast. I have always known that the course is about a tenth of a mile short, but now I also think that the race clock isn't even turned on until about a minute into the race.
A race with a course that is flat, short and which has favorable time mismanagement. How sweet is that?