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I’ve run a few of these now so I expected rain.  Memorial Day had to be the best weather ever.  But that’s not why Steve is smiling in this pic.  And it’s not because he scored such a sweet parking spot in his firm’s lot near Walnut.  I think it’s because he ran a faster time than me today.  It’s the little things that make Steve happy.

I’m pretty happy too with today’s run.  I’m mixed because of how it ended up.  This is my 3rd year in a row running the BB and I improved my time last year from 2010.  I hoped to do so again today but accepted that wasn’t going to happen considering I haven’t run in 3 or 4 weeks.  But I still thought it might be possible to beat my age.  I did last year and thought this year would be a done deal.

I started off too fast as usual with a 7:43 mile.  I was shooting for an 8 minute mile average and that’s not too far under.  But really, I do much better if I start off with a 9 minute mile.  And that’s not an issue with a half marathon because there’s so many miles to make it up.  I was tired climbing the hill in mile 2 but figured 6 miles is so short from what I’m used to, I just need to hang on.  Mile 2 was in 8:02.  Mile 3 was slower in 8:36 and put my average over 8 minutes.  Mile 4 came in at 8:23 which wasn’t aggressive enough.  I felt like I’d run faster.  The 5th mile felt on target although not quite fast enough in 8:05.  I did the math on the run by keeping an over/under tally of seconds from 8 minutes per mile.  I’m 46 seconds over with 1.2 miles remaining.

I picked up my pace running down Folsom and tried to keep running strong as the street gained elevation after Arapaho.  I told myself I’d put on a kick if that’s what it took to run under 50 minutes.  I don’t generally kick in races.  Seriously, in half marathons – what’s the point?  I even typically slow down a bit for a cool down the last half mile.  This is not unusual behavior for older runners.

I think I would have made it.  After 6 miles I was under 49 minutes and as I turned down that little seemingly downhill stretch before ascending into Folsom Stadium, my stomach cramped up and I began to heave.  Dry heaves I suppose, but the same motion as vomiting.  I can’t remember the last decade I threw up during a race.  This added another minute when I only had 90 seconds of running left to go.  That’s a bummer and I am a tad bit irritated.  But as I thought about it, I heaved from pushing a hard pace that final mile.  Had I run slower, I would not have cramped up and lost those precious minutes right at the end, but then I would have been slower from start.

I’m amazed with myself for running that hard.  This shows something.  This is not the same Ed who slows down the final half mile.  I’m ready to run another 10K soon to try for under 50 again.  Still, I wish I hadn’t gotten sick in front of the camera that feeds the jumbo stadium video screen.  There’s just no privacy anymore.

I waited in the stadium for my other friends to finish.  Everyone seemed to have a good run.  Watching the runners come in is quite a spectacle.  My favorite was when they played an uncensored version of Little Lion Man and then cut it short – but not before a few F-bombs were released.  Next up – Steve is talking about running the Sunrise Stampede on June 9th.  I smell a rematch.