Unlike the 10K a few weeks ago, I actually had a plan for this race.
Basically, I wanted to keep my first 6 miles as close to 8:00/mile as I could. I didn't want to go out too hard for the first few miles, but I didn't want to lose too much time on the hills in Iroquois, either. Then I was hoping to push as hard as I could for the last four miles, hopefully averaging around mid-7:00s to make up the difference.
I was really hoping to finish under 1:20:00, which meant I needed an average pace of 7:53/mile or better overall.
Although we left pretty close to when we should have, we got down there just a few minutes before the race started because of traffic and street closings. I ended up being about 8:40 behind the clock.
|Walking to the start line|
I was hoping to get a bit further ahead for the start, but I wasn't too concerned about it. If anything, the traffic would help me hold my pace back some.
The first few miles were really crowded. I tried to stay on the road, but I ended up having to jump up on the curb and into the grass a few times to get around people.
Mile 1: 8:41
Ouch. Quite a bit slower than I was hoping for. I tried to push the pace without expending too much energy, looking for gaps so I didn't have to keep weaving in and out of people.
Mile 2: 8:07
Mile 3: 8:16
Once again, slower that I would have liked. I didn't want to drop that much until I was in the park.
As I turned onto Taylor blvd I saw the leaders coming out of the park. Normally, they pass by somewhere out on Southern Parkway, so they were a bit behind this year. (That was confirmed by the finish times -- this year's winner finished in 51:11 compared to last year's winner with a 47:25.)
Even so, they were FLYING!
Ouch. Four miles to make up 2 minutes is a pretty tall order. I was hoping I could hang on and average around 7:30/mile for the rest of the race, but it would be tough.
Mile 7: 7:26
Well that's a good start! As you leave the park you're running downhill for a little more than half a mile, and from there it's relatively flat on Southern Parkway. I tried to keep the momentum going and push the pace without using too much effort.
Mile 8: 7:37
Not bad, but not great. I was wearing out, so I tried to eat another GU. I only managed a couple bites of it.
The wind was also pretty brutal.
"Only two more miles. Just hold on," I told myself.
Mile 9: 7:23
I really was leaving everything I had out there.
I tried to push through the pain and the negative thoughts, knowing it would be over soon, but the overpass about broke me. It was HARD to not stop and walk. My pace briefly fell to around 9:00/mile, but I managed to push a little harder and get it back up.
My heart rate was making a steady climb, nearly hitting 200 as I crested the hill.
Coming down the back side, my speed improved back into the low 7:00s and my heart rate recovered a bit. I kept checking my watch. It was going to be close!
As I turned into the stadium I had about a minute and a half left to hit my 1:20:00 goal.
Mile 10: 7:28
Coming into the stadium I was oblivious to everything around me. All I knew was that I had about 30 seconds to get the to the finish line -- an impossible task, but I pushed as hard as I could.
I felt like I was slowing down, but according to my Garmin I really wasn't! I was holding 6:00s and even dipped into the mid-5s!
The last little .12: 5:44
Official Time: 1:20:23
Thanks for being my rabbit again, Kara!!
Of course, I went and grabbed some pizza and we watched as Chris finished his longest race (and run!) ever! Then we went out to brunch before going home and passing out.
For anyone interested, here are the charts:
|Notice that TINY little bump around the 9.3 mile mark -- that's the dreaded overpass!!|
Thanks for reading!