My friends Erin and Baha, Jamie and Dave, Andrew and Katharine and I have a monthly (or we try to make it monthly) dinner club. Each month a one of the couples picks the restaurant. We ended up taking a long hiatus for various reasons but re-convened last night at Jamie and Dave’s choice – Chateau de Saigon.
I’d actually been wanting to try this place because a former co-worker of mine who is Vietnamese recommended it. It didn’t disappoint. Jason and I split the vegetable soup (we opted for the vegetarian broth) to start out. This was only so-so. It was on the bland side. For my entree, I got the stir-fried tofu with vegetables, while Jason had some sort of combination clay pot platter. The dishes were HUGE. Tons of food. Mine was basically a lot of fried tofu with some bok choy in a sauce. I’m not usually much for fried foods but I love fried tofu, so I was happy. I don’t eat it often, so I figure it’s okay every once in a while.
After dinner, we headed home, since I had an early wake up call for the Charles Harris 10K. I ended up waking up at 5:55, 5 minutes before my alarm was scheduled to go off. I was a little worried about the sudden cold front that’d moved in, but knew that I’d be fine once I started running.
Remember when I said that I was going to make pancakes before the race? Yeah, right. Even when I typed that I knew that the likelihood of me making pancakes at 6 am was slim to none. So I had my usual instead.
The coffee did it’s job, if you know what I mean, before I left the house, so that was nice. I can’t tell you how many pre-race portapotties I’ve been in. Sorry, TMI?
I left the house at about 6:45 am. The start of the race is only about a mile from my house but it’s a point to point race, so I had to drive to the finish line and take the shuttle to the start. I met up with Kristy, who was also doing the race, right away.
Once we got the school, where the race started, I got my number and met up with Lindsay.
I’ve done this race twice in the past, so I’m familiar with the course (plus, it’s by my house). I’ll be the first to tell you, it’s not a pretty course at all. It’s a straight shot down a 4-lane highway basically. But it’s mostly flat, by Atlanta standards at least, and that’s more important to me than nice scenery.
The other nice thing about this race is at every mile marker, there’s a big digital clock displaying the time. I didn’t bring my Garmin, so it was nice to see my pace. I got to the first mile marker at 8:55. Way too fast! The funny thing was, I didn’t feel like I was running especially fast, so I figured I’d just go with it.
I maintained a 9 minute mile pace for the first three miles. Then came the big hill. It was gradual, but there was a definite uphill in the third or fourth mile. On top of slowing down for that, my shoelace became untied. Nevertheless, I was still maintaining a 9-something pace (although closer to ten).
Knowing the course is always really helpful to me and I knew that once we past the Mile 4 marker, it’d be downhill, with a somewhat steep downhill in the 5th mile. I tried to pick up the pace again once I got there.
The last half mile of the race is sort of a tease. You run right by the parking lot where you’ve parked and know the finish line is near, but have to go through a neighborhood for a while to get to it. I felt myself slowing down a bit, but I didn’t feel too bad and when I passed the 6 mile marker, I was happy to see that it read 56 something and I knew that I could achieve and possibly beat my 58 minute goal.
I ended up crossing the finish line with a clock time of 57:30 and later found out my chip time was 57:15! This is a 10K PR by a least a minute for me!
Afterward, I meant to go home and take a nap, but the day got away from me and I went to the movies and dinner with a friend instead. Now I’m absolutely exhausted and I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m in bed by 9pm!
(Kristy and Lindsay kicked ass in this race too.)