A Race Alone.
Next weekend, I run alone in our nation’s capitol in the Cherry Blossom 10 miler. BB was supposed to run with me, but she has a conference out on the West Coast, and so I will be running without her. This will be the first race of my life that I’m running without her and it feels weird. I guess it shouldn’t? I’ll have other friends running the race, but we won’t be running together, the way BB and I do.
I’m curious how the race will feel. I feel pretty fit, and I have run the course mostly before. It covers a lot of the same territory as the Navy-Air Force half marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon. Without a partner to stick beside, and talk too, will I run faster? Slower? BB keeps me conscientious on the course, because she’s much more aware of our surroundings than I am. Will I be running into people?
I have this vague goal of breaking 90 minutes in the ten-mile run. That’d be fast and hard for me, but doesn’t seem impossible. It just means keeping below a 9 minute mile. I’ve done that over 10 kilometers. This is just 3.8 more miles. Once, on a glorious training run, BB and I ran 10 miles at a 9:07 pace. And that’s how I’m thinking of this. As a training race.
I will automatically get a personal record, because I’ve never run a ten mile race before. But not running with BB, there’s a sense that it doesn’t “count”. It’s extracurricular. I’ll go and run like hell, but I won’t have my partner there to celebrate with at the end. It’ll be another run alone, like my training runs during the week. I can run fast on those. My last two four mile runs were below an 8:40 pace. But they’re not the same as running with her in a race.
So I’m looking forward to it, but I also feel a little odd about it. I’d like a good time, but it doesn’t really matter. I don’t run for times. I like to see improvement, and I’d love a good one. But I run for health and companionship and to feel like I’m capable of accomplishing difficult things. So whatever time I get, if I finish, I’ve done something hard. And that feels great.