You only have one first race, so I chose one off the beaten path – the annual Run with Los Muertos in the city of Coachella. It’s a Day of the Dead-themed run at night through the flat downtown area.
The celebration consists of mariachi bands, Mexican food, and of course, beer (but I didn’t have any of that). It’s a night when you remember and run for lost loved ones. I lost my dad three years ago and my friend of 25-years, Bob Kassing, had just died a few days earlier. I had both of them on my mind and in my heart throughout the evening.
My good friend, Jamie, joined me for this race. He ran for his mom, who passed away in May. It was also his first organized run.
I felt like I was going to hold him back because he regularly clocks sub 8-minute splits and I’m lucky if I can get a solid 9-minute pace. I know it’s bad to base your training on the level of someone else, but I can’t deny it played a role in how hard I’ve been working. Of course, my injuries are another result of this dumbassery.
Anyway, turns out all of my fears about not keeping up were unfounded. When the gunshot (or buzzer…I honestly can’t remember) went off, it was like someone injected a full bottle of adrenaline in my ass. I couldn’t get around the crowd in front of me fast enough.
We ran through Coachella at full speed pretty much the entire 3.1 miles. I’d probably put my PRE at 8 or 9 throughout. I knew there were moments when I was tired, but I couldn’t slow down. We passed more and more people, getting pretty darned close to the front of the herd. Of course, I discovered later the winner finished at 15 minutes, so we weren’t quite that close.
My fitness tracker crapped out on me so I honestly had no idea where I was mile-wise
throughout. All I knew was when I turned that last corner and saw the finish banner far in the distance, I put the throttle down and high-tailed it to the end, where I greeted the flashing cameras and gladly took a bottle of water.
It was fucking great!
4th in my age division
Next stop: 10K in January! We’ll see what happens after that.