This morning I woke up before sunrise to get ready for the FILA 10k in Palermo, a race which had only been hosted in Buenos Aires for the second time. I have been running consistently for months now, so while I trained hard for the Nike 10 in November and was very concerned about my time, I didn’t really give much thought to this race. It’s not to say that I didn’t put effort in or thought I was going to breeze by–on the contrary. It’s simply that running long distances has become such a normal part of my life now that the idea of running a 10k is no longer as crazy as it once was.
Things for this race got off to a bad start, however. First, in order to pay I had to go to a sporting goods store in the center three times. The reason was that the first time I went, they said I had the wrong form. The second time they told me they were unable to break a $100 for the $65 fee (very sketchy that they had no change on them). So I had to find the change in order to go back later on. Next, the shirt provided was easily two sizes bigger than what it should have been. The medium I chose could easily pass for an extra large, and it actually can make a difference as you run.
The route for this race was for some reason put much farther away than usual, close to the River Plate stadium. I met up with some other guys from my running team and we took the Subte after it opened at 8 am. Even after we took the Subte to the last stop, we had to jog to the starting line for a good 10-15 minutes. The forecast had called for thunderstorms, which rolled in overnight, and as we cued up to get our chips and put away our clothes, the cold rain began. It was nasty and demoralizing. I’ve always had great luck with the weather when running a race, but this was the first time when I had a bad day to run on. We warmed up as it rained, and shortly before the race got under way it stopped raining, though the damage was done.
As usual, in the larger races a large amount of people who don’t usually run decide to go for it, which I think is great. However, they don’t know where they belong in the starting line and crowd up at the front, causing a major jam up for the first few kilometers. This was made even worse today because of the awful route chosen, which had us zig zagging through narrow streets with cars and broken sidewalks on each end. There was no where to run to, and I had to drift behind people ruining my rhythm. Everything I had been training for was essentially thrown off because I couldn’t run comfortably.
Earlier in the week during a training run I pushed myself a bit too hard and strained my right shin, and though I had tried to rest it up before, my leg was still sore as the race started. This caused me to lag a bit, and added in with the rain and soaking in the cold, I didn’t feel at my best. Only once was water handed out, and eventually I got to the finish line in 44 minutes 55 seconds. I ended up finishing in 318th place overall out of 3,312, 25th out of men my age, and 297th out of men overall. It’s still a good time, but it’s not my best and I’m disappointed in that I couldn’t come up with a better time.
Every time I run one of these races I tell myself that this is the last one, but I always get caught up in it again. Just today I was told about a 21k in June, but I don’t think I’m going to be trying for that one. For now, I feel tired and need some time to rest and regroup. I’ve run three races in the last month, which is more that most people do in their whole lives. The day didn’t end with the race, and in the following post, I’ll talk about my trip to a Boca Juniors game.