Super Sunday dawned with a nice cool fog hanging over the beach. Temps in the 50's and enough fog to keep the sun out of my eyes. I warmed up and threw in a pre-race pump for the paparazzi.
and then worried that it may be bad karma to tempt the fates with premature celebration.
My plan was to duplicate my splits from last year's PR run at the same race. Last year I ran these awesome negative splits for a 44:56: 7:29, 7:20, 7:16, 7:09, 7:09, 6:53 and 5:38 pace for the last .28! I knew it would be tough, but my training tells me I should be in better shape now, so I hoped to be 5 seconds per mile faster.
Mile 1: Started patiently. Moved along with the crowd and managed to avoid the normal too fast start. First 1/4 mile I was at about 7:45 and gradually picked it up. Mile 1: 7:31 (uphill)
Mile 2: Rolling hills - the downhills really helped keep the momentum going. Came through at 7:19 so I was basically right on last year's pace. But it was painful and I knew i had to pick it up.
Mile 3: This is the toughest part of a 10K. It feels like there is still so far to go, but my body is already hurting and telling me to slow down. But I trust in my plan and my training and keep pushing the pace. 7:08
Mile 4: On the way back now, and that helps the momentum. Keep checking G to keep me on track. Slightly uphill but I'm still accelerating. 7:05
Mile 5: Cresting a hill and catching a nice downhill really helps the momentum, just when I needed it. I'm feeling like I can do this now. Just not sure if I can duplicate last year's fast finish without sassafras pushing me. 7:04
Mile 6: Downhill start and I am approx 6:20 pace! Getting into the final push now. Heavy breathing, quicker turnover, passing more people. Then the monster hill at 5.5 miles which is short but really steep! At the top, my mile pace has slipped to 7:10 and I am heaving for air and my legs are feeling the rigor mortis. I crest and try to get the momentum back. A nice downhill will take me all the way home here, and after a minute or so my legs are working again and I can breathe. Now I am hauling downhill and feeling strong! 6:49
Last .23: Just moving fast to the finish - 5:41 pace! Hurtin'!
(OK. That twin baby jogger is only near me because they started 15 minutes earlier)
Cruise through the finish and check the watch: 44:16!!! PR by 40 seconds! Woo Hoo! Each mile was faster than the last.
After I got my breath back and settled down, I felt great! Compared to 20 mile runs, my body was not really taxed. I left it all on the course and I'm not sure I could have gone much faster. So it was on to the beer garden where I hung out with friends and befriended some lobsters promoting lobsterfest. They were quite confused by my loopsterfest shirt!
But my favorite was a physical manifestation of our dancing banana. This guy did the 5K with 6 people in monkey suits, and they were rocking out and dancing.
So, a perfect day; the sun came out, it got up to the 70's, I got a PR, and the Packers won!