I planned all week on waking up ready to go PR big in the 1/2 marathon Saturday morning. Instead, I woke up feeling sore all over, even in my arms (which generally only stay sore for a day after my lifting sessions). Picture McKayla Maroney's face, because that's about how I looked walking out to the PowerBar mobile at 5:30am Saturday morning.
We arrived at the race and I helped Ryan set up before doing a simple 5 minute jog warmup with some drills and a single stride. By then, it was time to race. We all toed the line and took off. I told myself I'd start conservatively and work my way down to my goal pace.
By the time we hit mile 1, I was second place overall (one guy, I believe a fellow Saucony Hurricane) with a 6:20 first mile.
I told myself I'd go completely on feel and only look at my watch when the mile split occurred. As tempting as it was to just glance down, I only allowed myself to look at the time elapsed for each lap (each lap on my watch is one mile). Most of the time, I looked down to see 4:xx, which was great as I knew it meant I had less than 2 minutes until my next mile split.
Mile 2 was a 6:03, mile 3 a 6:08. Mile 4 was primarily on crushed limestone, which would normally excite me....except that we were zig-zagging on the path, making what I thought would for sure be a 6:30 mile. At this point, I told myself a new goal...
"You just ran 6:11 pace in the HyVee triathlon two weeks ago after swimming almost a mile and biking 21.2miles for 25miles. Just DOUBLE the 10k you did at 6:11 pace and you'll get a huge PR."
I surprised myself with a 6:06. Mile 5 was looping throughout a neighborhood in a 6:02, which about gave me a hear attack. Mile 6 was right before the overpass that we went up (and then down) at mile 3. 6:05. I knew mile 7 would be a bit rough with the overpass, but was excited to glance down and see a 6:17 split.
My legs felt a bit tired from the overpass, so I told myself at mile 8 I could have my gel...6:18. Yes, I need that gel. Like now. I decided to drink half of it at mile 8, go through with a faster mile 9 (which I did, 6:16) and "treat myself" to the rest at mile 10.
Those mental thoughts helped me get my groove back for mile 10...6:11. At this point, we were mixed in with the 10k runners, so there was a bit of weaving in and out of people (and cars), but a 6:16 was still close to what I wanted, and a time I knew I needed to break 1:22.
Mile 12 was a 6:19, so I KNEW I needed to pick it up if I wanted to be on pace to PR still. I kept looking and looking for the 6 mile mark for the 10k runners (it was 0.1miles before the 13 mile mark for me), but never found it. Instead, I saw the clock...
1:20. I SPRINTED. I mean all out sprinted. Ryan said he never saw me run so fast. My Garmin showed I did the last 0.1 at 4:59 pace!
1:20:58. 6:11 pace. 1:48 PR. Guess negativity works for me...but only because I turn it into positive energy in my run!
On a semi-related note, Ryan and I had a photo shoot the next day. While running and biking Ryan's pace probably made me more sore than the 1/2 the day before, it was 100% worth it as the pictures are PHENOMENAL. Check them out on my/Ryan's profile (and some below):
Both feet off the ground!
Check out this stud.
This is how our Sunday morning began.
This is what our Sunday morning produced.
Almost keeping up with Ryan!