I like to look back on different events to see how I’ve changed or how my life might be different if I had done something differently.
For instance, until April 28, I hadn’t race in six months. Since April 28, I’ve raced twice! Thats twice in 8 days.
But my real subject of comparasin is the Lake Monona 20K this past weekend. I like this race/route, but I’d only run the race once before. On May 3, 2008 I was dealing with newbie running injuries, a neuroma and a temperamental achilles. I finished the 20K race dead last in 2:41:40. To give even more perspective, I finished my first half a month later in (slightly) less time!
This past Saturday I ran the Lake Monona 20K in an official time of 2:17:09! Talk about improvement.
Doug was sick last week and getting better on Saturday, but not well enough to go with me to the race. So he and Allie stayed home while I went to the race on my own. I hadn’t signed up for the race yet because of my foot concern, so I went early to sign up. I got a parking spot right next to the starting line and chilled in the car waiting for the start. I didn’t realize until later that they were 150 spots away from selling out, so I’m glad I got there early! I was surprised to get a shirt too! I had resigned myself to not getting a shirt and favored running 12 miles in a race setting instead of by myself.
I didn’t have any expectations on this race. I set a PR in Crazylegs the week before. I’d been thinking the few days before that I hadn’t considered my goals for Green Bay. Some people who use a race as a long run in preparation for another race run it “easy” like another “training run.” I suppose I considered this a training run, but I can’t NOT race! I’ve never been able to pace myself. I run however I run that day, whatever comes naturally. So I was uneasy when I started out at the same pace I’d run the week before (10:40ish). I decided to just see how long I could maintain it.
I maintained for about 9.5 miles. As I neared mile 10 I finally slowed myself down and concentrated on just running. But between mile 11-12 I took a lot of walk breaks. My legs, feet,butt all hurt. But I picked it up and ran the last half mile. My 2:17:09 worked out to 10:59/mile.
My splits tell the story: 10.38, 10.37, 10.42, 10.45, 10.54, 10.34, 10.52, 11.12, 10.45, 11.14, 11.12, 12.06, last mile was 10.38ish pace.
What I learned from this race: If I can average a teeny bit faster pace, along with pace myself better overall, I can run a PR two weeks from Sunday!
So now I have another cutback week. I call it a taper, though I don’t suppose its really a taper. I’m still planning on running four days, but a shorter long run around 8 miles… or maybe no long run. I’ll just see what I feel like. I kinda fell into an every other week cutback the last few weeks and its served me well thus far. While I taper, its time to really consider goals!