This being my fall "A" race, I had some clearly defined goals...
- universal imperative: have an incredibly, fantastically fun time running.
- A+ goal: finish in 23:30 (avg pace 7:34)
- A goal: finish in 23:50, thereby beating Patrick's 5K tempo run workout from the other day.
- A- goal: finish under 24:01 (my time last year)
- B goal: keep the average pace faster than 8-minute miles...extra credit for never seeing an "8" in the first place on the Garmin's screen.
- C goal: finish in one piece.
(So basically I was thinking along the same lines as the handful of people who left predictions in the comment section of yesterday's post.)
I left the house in what I thought was plenty of time, but then I checked my new phone's stupid map app and was completely freaked out when it told me I was in for a 75-minute drive instead of the anticipated 45-minute drive. Turned out it was a crap map app.
GoogleMaps rocks. It was, indeed, 45 minutes from here to there.
The drive up was lovely. The sun was rising and the light was gorgeous...
After a minimal (quarter of a mile jogging easily) warm up, it was time to head to the start line. I'm not entirely sure where the time went. I had wanted a lengthy, thorough warm up. But you can't always get what you want.
On your mark....Get set... GO!
I started running down the hill. I was behind three girls (like, high school girls) who reminded me totally of my friends and I when we would "run" in high school (meaning very lackadaisical and sort of goofy)...except my Garmin showed that we were all running about 7:20 pace. That was a little faster than I imagined I could sustain for the entire race, so I just tucked in behind those lovely young ladies and enjoyed how effortless the pace felt...for once.
I was smiling hard. But it all felt easy. What a beautiful morning! What a great feeling! How awesome is THIS?! were the thoughts running through my head.
Things flattened out about three-quarters of a mile into it and the effort picked up a wee bit while the pace stayed relatively constant. Some guy passed me. He went on to be the overall winner.
We hit the first mile right before heading up a long, slight hill.
Last year my pace slowed dramatically in this next segment...and here was where a guy pushing a stroller passed me. Demoralizing. Well, this year I motored. I decided that this was where I would take those girls...and I did. Go, old lady...way to beat up on the unsuspecting kids :P
I pushed to the top of the hill and caught some guy, saw some llamas, the guy I'd just caught found another gear and peeled away from me like I was standing still...but no matter. I was running my own race.
And smiling hard. But it all still felt easy. How fun! I love this! What a beautiful day! as I hit the second mile mark.
As I pushed myself to hold this great pace that I had no idea was even possible for my body to run, I stepped into a pothole and flipped my foot over. Man, did that hurt! But hey, less than a mile to go... and I'm having such a great run! No way am I stopping!
I was able to keep driving the pace until I hit the bottom of that long hill...the same one that, in reverse, had made the start so speedy.
Still smiling hard...but it wasn't feeling so easy. Keep it under 8, keep it under 8... was the mantra.
I had an idea of my quarterly average pace but no idea of the elapsed time...and math while engaged in sick physical effort isn't my strong suit. I was incredibly surprised when my time was called as I crossed the line...
23:11 (7:28 avg pace)
All i could think was...
How did i do that?
And I was still smiling.
When all was said and done and I was ready to head home,
still smiling...so happy :)
First woman...and yes, there were several other women in the race :P
Check out this photo of the top three women on the race's Facebook page here. Just never mind the fact that I am old enough to be their grandma.
I wasn't smiling so much when I saw this...
For the sake of comparison...
Not hurt foot.
It's okay to walk on it, but it is stiff. Nothing like this friend's ankle or this friend's, thankfully. I'll recover by next week. But I've been given the "no running this weekend" directive and I'm happy to go with that :)
I'll give the report on the rest of our family's Thanksgiving festivities later.
Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!