I survived the second leg of my Thanksgiving Triathlon without a hitch. Well, I did forget my numbered race bib at home and almost made everyone in the carpool late for the start of the race as I hurried back to retrieve it. We also encountered a massive traffic jam leading into downtown San Jose as 16,000 other participants made their way to parking and the start line. And there was that bit of rain threatening the beginning of the race.
But the sprinkles eased, we arrived just in time, and my friends and I all had a great run.
At last year’s race on a flatter course, I managed an average pace of 8 minutes, 46 seconds per mile. This year, I didn’t have a chance of approaching that pace, since I’m now 5 weeks into chemo and off running for 3 out of the last 6 months. I started off easy, moving in sync with the masses of runners and walkers, jogging strollers, turkeys, and pilgrims. As slower runners fell back and the crowd began to thin, I zigzagged through the crowd, incrementally bumping up my speed with each mile, first at 10+ minutes/mile, then 9:50, 9:30, 9:10, and 8:50.
In the last mile or so, I went for broke. I pushed hard, then harder, and as I approached the finish chutes I was huffing and puffing but poised to keep the pace until the end. And then, oh so disappointingly, I hit the second traffic jam for the day. A mere 50 feet and hundreds of participants separated me from the true finish line. We all waited patiently to trickle through the last bottleneck, the finish chutes, easily adding a couple of minutes on to our final times in the process. Still, I was delighted to finish in under an hour, roughly 5 minutes slower than last year. Taking into account the 2 minutes of waiting at the finish line, I missed matching last year’s time by a mere 3 minutes. Yay for me! Actually, when you think about it, I should have gone even faster this year compared to last, because last year I had cancer whereas now (hopefully) I don’t!
Here I am just before the 10K with friends Sachi (middle) & Sharon (right). Many thanks to Sharon for today’s photos.
And here we are reunited after the race with our other friend Ruth (on left) and Sharon’s aunt Sharron (2nd from right).
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