I surpassed my expectations today. But I suppose that wasn’t hard to do, considering I didn’t really have any. I ran a great race today-I nearly beat my PR!
I was a little indifferent to this race just because I’ve been cutting back lately. I wasn’t sure what to expect because it’s been three weeks since I ran that long. On my way to the start, I realized that this was my big race for the summer since I decided against the half in August.
We ran a little late getting there, but what else is new on race day? Luckily I’ve run races here before and knew exactly where to go to pick up my stuff and then the start. They didn’t have any pins for the bibs, oops! Luckily I remembered the random safety pins I’d seen in my car the other day, lucky me! Since we were running late and we weren’t sure where we’d find parking and Doug had to put gas in the car, Doug just dropped me off. I walked out to the start and got a little nervous, but that passed.
I started out fast. I’ve never been able to pace myself. I just go at what feels natural. So I didn’t try to slow myself down, rather I was interested in how long I could keep it up. Turns out I kept it up for the whole first half!
It was really hot. The first part of the race was heading right into the sun through an industrial park, so no shade. That was pretty boring. We were in the industrial park about 4 miles and then the route went into a neighborhood. What I love about this race is that in this neighborhood, almost every other house was either handing out water cups or had put out sprinklers or hoses to run through! That was much needed in the heat!
We were in the neighborhood about 2.5 miles and then went back into the industrial park. I stopped to fuel after 5 miles and after walking a bit I was able to run again in spite of mounting fatigue. My new shoes had been squishing my toes a bit. I don’t know if the new shoes make me strike higher up on my foot or what. But it seemed like when I was trying to stay back on my heels it felt better. It also helped to wiggle my toes too.
Anyway, we ran about 2 more miles and came back around past the start. The last 3 miles went more around town. It got long here and then there was an uphill stretch where I got really tired. I walked when I got to the uphill and fueled some more. I ran once we started going down hill again and ran the rest of the way.
After I passed mile 8, I looked at my garmin and realized I could have a longshot at beating my PR, set three years earlier at this race: 1:53:05. Unfortunately I was running out of gas and also the course was a little long compared to my garmin measurements. I wanted to try and speed up and beat the PR, and I did do my best, but I just didn’t have it in the tank.
I ran the 9th mile and walked through a water stop just before the 10th mile. I was ready to walk a bit more but then I realized that this was the end of the route for the 5K I did there last fall and the finish was right around the corner. I was a little slower, but I did run the whole last mile. The last bit of the race goes into the park where we started and around a baseball field. When I got to the park I sped up and couldn’t believe how strong I felt as I rounded the field, but I knew the finish had to get here quick!
After the race I had to sit down for a bit in the shade because I was dizzy and I was seeing really bright. But luckily I didn’t have any kind of heat problem. I really recovered pretty quick. Allie and I waited in the shade while Doug went to get the car, which was a long walk away. While we waited for Doug I went to get another bottle of water and checked the results, and mine were in. My official time was 1:55:02! Its a mere 1 minute and 57 seconds off my PR!
I averaged 11:05 pace the first half, but my average was around 11:45 or so the second half. So if I’d kept up my original pace I would have blew that PR out of the water. But I’m not disappointed. I was quite pleasantly surprised to discover that I can battle my old PRs!
One thing that really struck me about this race, compared to my 10K on July 4 and even the half, I felt a lot stronger and confident in this race. I remember how much I just really wanted to stop the whole time during the 10K, and I really didn’t get to that point today. Running through sprinklers really helped.
So while I was a bit apprehensive and feeling unprepared, apparently the cutback helped! Now that I’m focused on my next half and picking out other races, I’m interested to see how my results will change.