"What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those of us on the couch is that we learn through running to take what the day gives us, what our body will allow us, and what our will an tolerate." John Bingham, running writer and speaker
This morning was the annual Cap 10K race. It's one of the largest (if not THE largest) 10K races in Texas. I think they said almost 20,000 runners and walkers were out there this morning. I've done this race every year for the past several years and every year I have PR'd here. I know at some point that will come to an end, and based on the weather this morning I thought today might be the day.
The forecast leading up to the race wasn't looking good and when I woke up this morning, the forecast had held. Temps in the low 60s, heavy mist and high humidity. For me, not a good combination for running. Even though I freeze while waiting for the start, I prefer temps in the 40s or 50s for racing. And humidity makes my exercise induced asthma act up. Mentally I prepared myself to NOT PR today.
When I got to the race start I stayed in my car for a bit and then headed to the port-a-potty before heading to the start line. The whole time, the mist was coming down. I wondered if it would stay the whole time. At least it would keep things cool. The race doesn't start until 8:45, so it's a late start for the race. I wondered if the sun would pop out and really make the humidity increase.
When the gun went off and we started running, I reminded myself that it was ok to go slower if I needed to. I felt like I was going somewhat slow, but was passing a lot of people and doing a lot of weaving. The first mile is a slight incline the whole way. At mile 1 I hit the split button: 8:51. Not bad, but maybe a bit too fast with the humidity. I also started to get a little side cramp and decided to take water at EVERY aid station. Grabbed some water and kept running.
After mile 1 is a tiny downhill part before another decent climb. Mile 2 split: 8:35. Then the hills come, big both up and down. Mile 3 split: 9:19. At this point I figured I was losing ground and a PR was out of the question. But I kept going. Mile 4 split: 8:36. Ok, I'm back in the game. From this point on, it's mostly flat. Maybe I could hold the pace and still do it. And even though I knew my splits, I never looked at the elapsed time. I didn't want to start calculating. Mile 5 split: 8:49. Still hanging in there with 1.2 to go.
By this point I am totally drenched in sweat. I'm trying to keep my breathing steady and keep my pace steady. I know it will be close. Mile 6 split: 8:45. At this point I look at the elapsed time and figure if I can get the last .2 done in under 2 minutes I can get a PR. I start picking up the pace. I turn the corner to head to the finish line and pick it up even more. The closer I get the faster I get. I cross the finish line and hit the garmin a few seconds later. The garmin reads 54:41. That's a PR. The official chip time was 54:38. That will go in the books!!!
I took what the day gave me did what my body would allow and came out with a result I was happy with.