I can't think of any better way to tune up for CIM than by running a smooth 10K along with 30,000 other runners through the streets of East Sacramento on Thanksgiving morning, raising money to feed the hungry. That's what I did Thursday, and had a blast. I was going to run at tempo pace but decided instead to pace a friend who was running a little slower, hoping to break 39 minutes. That was the first time I had paced someone else in a race, and I loved it. The experience took my mind off my own aches and pains and worries and let me focus on her race instead. Even though we were still going at a pretty good clip, I was chatting with spectators, thanking volunteers and urging my friend to stick with it when things got tough toward the end. Also: enjoying the fantastic weather and the beautiful fall colors all along the route.
Alas, we were fooled by our technology again, as our Garmins told us we were running a sub 6:15 pace that would put us comfortably under 39 minutes. But either the Garmins were wrong or the course was long, and by the time I saw the clock at the finish line, it was reading 38:54. A final sprint to the finish mat put me over the line 38:59, according to my chip time. But while my friend crossed at the exact same time, her chip time showed 39 flat. Still a PR, but a slight disappointment that she didn't break the 39-minute barrier.
What a great day, though. I think it was the most fun I have ever had in a race. It left me feeling happy and excited about the real event to come, on Dec. 6.
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