Saturday morning marked my first race of 2010, Romeo's 4 Miler, the first of 3 races in the UCSB Running Series. My roommate Jordan and I got up bright and early to headed to campus because she still had to register. It was a gorgeous day and perfect for running, so we were pretty excited. Team In Training had a tent set-up so we headed there, and Erin, the team manager, asked us if we'd "dress up" for the run to promote TNT. We were both up for it, and ended up sporting a purple tutu (me) and a green feather boa (Jordan)! It was actually a lot of fun and we got a lot of great comments throughout the day on our outfits : )
The race started at 9am, and consisted of 2 loops around the campus lagoon. I'm pretty familiar with one half of the lagoon as I run it regularly, but the other side was a bit more mysterious. And by mysterious, I mean hills, trails, potholes, and mud. For the most part it was a beautiful and fun course, but charging up those hills on the first loop pretty much killed me. We were aiming for 9:something miles, and started out a bit too fast, which caught up to me on the second half of the race, and forced us to walk those hills. Even though I could have done a bit better, I still made my goal of a sub-40 min finish, and 3 of our 4 miles were at sub-10 min pace. I ended up finishing in 38:53 despite fading on the last couple miles.
Here's a video of the course!
In hindsight, I think there were a couple factors that affected my time, the first being my run the previous night. I did 3.5 miles at 9:00 min/mi pace, so I was really pushing it, but I felt ok after. Later that night I helped a friend move, carrying heavy boxes and things up and down stairs. By the time I went to bed Friday night I was pretty pooped, and my 7:30am alarm did not come easily. I've run 4 milers faster on my own so I know I'm capable of better, but it was still a great race and a lot of fun.
After the race we hung out for a while to man the TNT tent and watch the couples' relay and kids' run. Then they started announcing the winners and some team awards, and imagine our surprise when they announced that Team In Training had won most creative team! So Jordan and I trooped up to the stage in our tutu and boa and I gave an impromptu blurb on TNT. I was so excited to win something at a race, even if it had nothing to do with running!