June Gloom has extended into July, but as a runner, I welcome the overcast skies and cool weather. It was perfect weather for yesterday morning’s Semana Nautica 15K race in Goleta.
Dressed in my brightest and most cheerful running outfit, Fred, Debbie and I headed out to the Goleta starting line. It felt exhilarating to be at the starting line feeling the energy created by the runners around me. There were many familiar faces, some red-white-and-blue outfits, and even Uncle Sam made an appearance. This was an especially exciting race since it was the first one Fred and I got to run together. And while I felt relaxed and saw this race as more of a training run in preparation for my October marathon, Fred was a bit nervous as this race was going to be his longest run to date. Last week he ran 6 miles and this week he was making the jump to 9.3 miles! A good idea? Some would say not, but it was something he wanted to do, with his main goal being to run the entire 15K. Did he make it, you might be asking? You betcha!
Armed with a pack of Shot Bloks, Fred maintained a steady pace throughout the entire race. I was imagining more of a 9:20/mile pace, and I had made peace with the idea that we might end up running slower than I normally would. But, he surprised me with a sub 9:00 pace throughout the entire race. In fact, according to the Garmin, we averaged an 8:36/mile pace. I suggested a few 30-second strides toward the end for a little extra somethin’ somethin’. He thought those unnecessary, so I did them, and he caught up with me during my recovery from the strides. And at the final 2 kilometers, we really picked it up and finished strong in 1:21:24.
Did I mention this was Fred’s longest run ever? Go Fred! (And a shout out to our friend Debbie as this was her longest run to date and she finished just 3 minutes after us. She ran strong and steady the entire time. She rocks. Go Debbie!)