Today was a fantastic day for a run! We were up bright and early and ready to go by the time Cotton arrived about 6:15. We got to the park where the start line was to be set up in plenty of time to get a good parking spot, so we sat in the car to keep warm, we didn't even need to do a bag check. Nice!
We went down to the runner's area for our "porta" break, and we each picked up about a half a cup of coffee to warm up with...then went back to the car for a few minutes. About 15 minutes before the start we walked on down to the start line.
As we were waiting I told Rick that as much as I love running with him, I thought that if he really ran this one he could finish it in under 1:30 - instead of running with me and going for my goal of under 1:37! I told him I really wanted him to go for it! The gun sounded and we took off at our normal snail-dodge-the walkers-and-slower-runners pace. Rick passed me fairly quickly and I had to smile that he took my challenge and was going for it! YEAH RICK!!!
Even with a slower than normal start I completed the first mile of the race in 10:00 flat. (This included slowing down to take off the jacket and tie it around my waist - I hate being so wimpy at the start when it is cold!) That was OK with me - it kept me on pace for my goal. I kept running at the pace I was comfortable at by then and finished mile 2 with a 9:57 pace....still looking good - although I had a feeling I wasn't going to be able to repeat my "Frigid" performance of a 1:03 pace for the 10K mark. All I could do was keep going and give it my best for the day....
My mile 3 pace was 9:47 and gave me a 3 mile time of 29:55 - close to my pace at the DRC race a couple of weeks ago. However - the "official" 5K mark was a little further down the trail....and they clocked me at 31:32:57, slightly slower than the last race. I kept going and trying to keep my pace fairly steady...Mile 4 was a 10:37....shoot...I had slowed down, but I was still under the 10:45 that I was trying so hard to beat this race. It seems like that has been my overall pace for about a year now and I'm really wanting to pick it up a bit. On and on and on I ran....mile 5 pace was 10:46....NOOOOOOOO! That would NOT do! I needed to pick it up if I could! Mile 6 - 10:25....better....whew! Now if I could just keep it there. For the 2nd 5K I had posted a time of 33:31:36. A couple of minutes lost, but a 6 mile time of 1:01:44 by Garmin time put me just slightly slower than the DRC...still pushing along!
Then I hit it...the infamous WALL!!! I was much bummed at 6.5 miles in...my legs were churning away - I felt like I was still running at the 10:30 or so pace, but Garmin was telling me differently....I hit mile 7 with 10:51 pace. I tried to give myself a little pep talk and pick it up, but my legs simply were not cooperating at ALL! For me, mile 7 and 8 are always the hardest, slowest of my races. I don't know why - when I'm running the pace feels the same, but I'll look at my watch and be shocked to see how much I've slowed. Even when I'm conciously monitoring and pushing-pushing-pushing it seems like this section of the run just will NOT cooporate! Mile 8 was my slowest mile of the race, per my norm....an 11:06 pace. Normally I would be very disappointed here and perhaps THINK about walking, but I had a goal that I really wanted to make...with Garmin telling me that my 8 mile time was 1:23:42 - and with only 1.3 miles to go I thought I just might get there, if I could just pick it up a little bit!
I ran the last mile the best I could - I worked at smoothing out my run, picking up the pace slightly, and breathing with the cadence of my steps...I also tried to stand a little taller....SOMETHING must have worked at least a little bit because my pace for this section was back down to 10:54 and Garmin told me I had done the 9 miles in 1:34:37. Since I use my Garmin as my official timer for our normal Sunday morning runs, I KNEW I was doing one of my best runs in a long time. I also knew I was getting close to the finish line. I could hear the loud speakers and some music. I tried to pick it up a little, run a little taller, look a little stronger since I knew Rick and Cotton would be there cheering for me. I did the last part of the race (Garmin shows it as .48 miles at a 10:41 pace in 5:09 for a total Garmin time of 1:39:47. The official results show my last 5K time at 34:41:43 and my overall time at 1:39:46 - pretty close to Garmin, huh? Officially, I finished 242 out of 719 runners overall, and 8th out of 17 in my age group - right about the middle, which is where I normally am ....
I didn't make my goal of the full 15K in 1:35 - but I got close...and I was fairly happy with the first 6 miles and my 10K time of 1:05:04. I was hoping for a little better after doing so well at the DRC, but it is a different race, and a different day - I was VERY happy to see that my overall pace ended up being 10:31...almost 15 seconds a mile faster than what my "normal" pace has been....it appears that some of the work is beginning to pay off!
Rick and Cotton both had AMAZING races.
Rick's splits were:
for an overall time of 1:28:30. I KNEW HE COULD DO IT!!!!!! The full 15K in UNDER 1:30!!! Congratulations RICK!!!! His overall place was 197 - top 200!!!!
Cotton's splits were:
for an overall time of 1:06:05 and 3rd place in his age group - and 29th overall! Congratualtions to you too, COTTON!!
Our next race is the Tal Morrison 5K. My goal for this one is to finish in under 30 minutes. I am getting so close even in these long races that I honestly believe if I can convince myself to RUN it I can do it!!!! Wish me luck!