Sometimes you just gotta race, no matter what kind of shape you're in. So it was without much resistance from me the Czarina entered me into Saturday's Run for Music 10K in Naples. This would be my first race since last year's half marathon in Riga, Latvia where I ran 2:04:33, my slowest half by about ten minutes.
I realized heading into the weekend that this would be my first race in Southwest Florida in three years. I hadn't run a race on home turf since a 5K in the spring of 2016. That same spring I had clocked a 52:36 10K at the aforementioned Run for Music. Again, it was my slowest 10K ever.
This time I was under no delusions about what would happen. I had knee surgery for a meniscus tear at the end of November. I hadn't gotten my mileage above the 20 mile per week mark until March. I had gained weight and my runs were plodding at best. I was going into this race hoping I could keep my pace under 10 minutes per mile.
I got through the race without completely blowing up or embarrassing myself. I loped along at just under 9:30 pace for the first four miles. I felt pretty good even through mile five which I hit in 9:35. The last mile was a grind as I barely finished it under 10 minutes. I hit the finish line 58:33, not great but not as bad as I feared.
I learned one thing from all of this. I need to race more and incorporate a tempo run into my training regiment. The mileage will come and I will lose the extra weight. But unfortunately, nobody beats father time.