One of my longstanding bad habits (that is, mental malfunctions) is continually underestimating how long it takes me to get out of the house and go someplace. Today I paid for it, in frustration and embarrassment.
It's a gorgeous Easter Sunday, 70 degrees without a cloud in the sky (or, you know, anywhere else) although you wouldn't know it was Easter, aside from the church lady who handed me a packet of two hard-boiled eggs in the subway. (They weren't dyed, but there was a churchy message on the plastic.)
Anyway, today was the so-called Bundang Marathon, although there wasn't an actual marathon-length course. In the US South, every soft drink is called a Coke... here, every road race is a called a marathon, whatever its length, and today's "marathon" was a set of 5K, 10K, and half-marathon (21K) races.
I'd trained for a couple of months, with my friend Laura-Claire, to run the half. But as so often happens--and did I mention you'd think I'd learn?--I got there just minutes before the race and, after frantically stashing my bag with a Korean guy who looked trustworthy and dashing to the restroom (where I got precious little rest), I couldn't force my way through the thousands-strong mob of 5Kers and 10Kers to the half-marathoners up in front.
So, rather than slink home in self-imposed disgrace, I ran the 10K. The course started in the most beautiful park I know and mostly ran alongside the nearby stream. After 3K, I was pleased (and a little shocked) that I was running a six-minute-per-kilometer pace, about a minute per K faster than usual, and decided to try to beat an hour, which would be nearly ten minutes faster than my previous 10K, a few years ago.
And I woulda got away with it, too, if not for that meddling bathroom stop on the course. Still, 1:00:35 ain't bad for a broke-down, overweight sexagenarian. (Oh, calm down... the "sex" in that word just means 60.)
A bunch of my hashing friends also ran in the various races...