This is a race that I pretty much do every year. I never train for it specifically, because I’m usually training for something else around the same time. After completing the Little Rock Marathon March 1st, I kept some run training going and felt my fitness level was pretty decent. I didn’t think I would PR and didn’t really care if I did or not.
Race morning I got up, went through my routine and headed downtown. If the weather cooperates, this race is nice because it doesn’t start until 8:00am, so you can kind of sleep in on race morning. (This can be a really bad thing if the weather has already started heating up for the year, though.) This year, there was a chance of rain race morning, so I went into the race just wanting to get it done and get home.
Because of my predicted time, I was in coral B, which was the second coral to go off. Even then, once the race starts, the streets are crowded. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it thins out at all and that was the case this year. Despite having something going on in my right hamstring/piriformis, once I get running I’m usually ok. I get sucked into the excitement of the race, my adrenaline kicks in and I’m off. I was pleasantly surprised by how I felt during the race.
When I checked my split at mile 1 and noticed 9:00 I was kind of surprised. The first hill is a little uphill. The second mile has some downhill, so I expected to be a little faster here, and I was with a 8:46. The next two miles have some hills before it levels off again.
Mile 3: 9:02
Mile 4: 9:07 (my garmin showed longer than a mile even though I hit the split at the mile markers)
Luckily, it didn’t ever rain hard on me during the race and it only lightly rained around mile 5, which actually felt kind of nice. When I checked my splits at this point I realized I was close to getting a PR, but couldn’t remember exactly what my 10k PR was. Since I knew I was close, I decided to push as hard as I could until the end.
Mile 5: 7:56 (my garmin showed short for this mile, which is probably true)
Obviously, I couldn’t keep that pace and slowed down the last mile some.
Mile 6: 9:45
Last .2: 1:43
But, in the end, it paid off. Finish time: 55:19 for a pace of 8:51 per mile. And a new PR. I’m beginning to think I just need to go into every race and “not care” what the outcome will be. Sometimes taking the pressure off allows the body to do amazing things.