So as I mentioned, I wanted to PR from last year. Last year's time was 2:21:40 and this year I just wanted to get 2:20. It's all I wanted, all I expected from myself.
And I KILLED it.
I knew going into this that I was going to have to have a 10:40 average to make my PR. I started off and my first few miles according to my Garmin were looking good, low 10's. I purposefully tried to slow myself down so that I didn't wear myself out too early. And I found it hard to slow down to a 10:40 pace!! I kept reminding myself if I started to ache that I CAN slow down - I was under no pressure to keep going 10:15, 10:20 miles. But every time I tried to slow down to 10:40, I found myself moving right along with the crowd!
Everyone was so nice on the course! I ran into some familiar faces and made some new friends along the way. I normally don't remember much of my runs, but I was trying so hard to ENJOY this one!! I know that my tendency is to speed out of the gate, so around mile 3 I warned myself I needed to slow down a little bit. But mile 4.5-5 was the "High Five zone" at a farm where they invite spectators to high five as the runners go through! As soon as I knew the farm was coming up, I sped up a little (hence the 10:11 mile at 4) to see my family!! And it was worth the sprint because I got two of the sweetest little hugs ever.
The next few miles is through a community. I tried to keep my headphones out and take in all the sights of fall (the weather today - PERFECT. Mild temps, no glaring beating sun...), appreciating all the people who came out to cheer for runners. Once you come out of the community, it's almost mile 8. That starts a SLIGHT uphill. Mile 10 - the ONLY true uphill run in this race! Sort of mean that they put it so close to the end, but it is what it is!
Once I hit 10 miles, I had my favorite thought - "Now it's just a Tuesday run. A 5k!" And when I looked down and realized I had a 5k left and was only at 1:42?? The writing was on the wall that I would PR, by how much was the question.
I kept going, tried to keep myself from sprinting at that very moment. My Garmin was off by about .2/mile and I kept having to remind myself - MORE than a mile left, MORE than a half mile, etc. As I rounded the corner to the street I knew the finish line was on, I knew it was TIME to sprint! I saw my family again right at mile 13. I didn't ALL OUT sprint like I usually do, but I was at a good clip into the finish line. I paused my Garmin, got my medal and tried not to explode. The clock as I passed said 2:17!!! Could I have possibly broken not only 2:20, but 2:15?!!!
Once I finally found my family, my first question for my husband was "Did you get the text? What was my official time??"
ZOMG, I shaved SIX MINUTES off my time from last year!!!!!!
I have a 10K next weekend. then no more races on the books for awhile. I may try to sneak a few 5ks in before next spring race season, but I'm definitely going to keep going and training! I never in a MILLION years thought I could hit 2:15. Now it makes me wonder what else I am capable of doing!!