On Saturday morning, Alaina and I met in Central Park to run the Circle of Friends NY Mini 10K. Don't let the word "mini" in the title fool you, this was a full 10K (6.2 miles). To my surprise, Alaina greeted me with the news that she hoped to break her time set last year and that she was looking to run 9:05 miles.
I've been running for close to four weeks now, after taking time off for illness. But I haven't been training that hard. I told her I'd see what I could do. We stayed together through 5K, crossing the half-way mark in something close to 27 minutes. But at the top of the hill past The Ravine, I bade her farewell, told her to run fast, and fell behind into the pack of slower runners. I was hot and tired, and couldn't believe I had half a race left to run. Never had 3.1 miles seemed so long.
But slow and steady it was, with stops at 4 and 5 miles for water. And about a minute and a half after Alaina, I crossed the finish line. My time was 1:00:11, with a pace of 9:42 — quite a bit off 9:05. But I did it, and I've never been so happy to get a silly medal in my life. From here on out, I'm doing more speed work so I can get faster. I think I've said that before, but this time I mean it.