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The Race

I’m used to races with corrals so it was kind of exciting getting to just start with everyone all at once. I’m sure for more serious runner this can be pretty frustrating. I know the Navy Guy was having a hard time hitting his pace for the first mile because of the crowd. For me, on the other hand, it was awesome. The crowd was pretty much running at a perfect pace for me and I felt like I wasn’t even running for the first mile, it just went by so fast.

At mile 1 I was almost exactly on for my “goal” time and I started thinking to myself “wow I might I actually be able to run this kind of fast (for me).” Mile 2 I ran a little bit faster, and then mile 3 was a little bit faster than that. At that point I realized I was averaging about a 10:30ish per mile pace! Holy cow. I couldn’t even believe it.

There was a water right after mile 3 and that’s where things started to change. I wasn’t passing anyone anymore and even though I didn’t stop for water some how this huge gap formed and I was no longer really in the crowd.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned about running is that attitude is everything. I tried my best not to get discouraged by the gap. I wasn’t even slowing down really at all. The course was winding around an island out in the bay and views were awesome. I was running way faster than my goal pace so I knew I had a lot of room to slow down if I really needed to but I just really tried to focus on enjoying myself.

At mile  4 I was really starting to feel my pace catching up to me. I told myself that if I really need it I could take this mile to “rest” and then I’d really push out the last 1.2 miles. I slowed down a little bit but I was still under my goal pace. I wish I could say “and before I knew it the mile 6 marker appeared and I was almost done!” It was actually a little bit more like “wow, I am really started to get worn out! Where are these mile markers? Why is this going by so slowly now?”. But then there it was…

Only .2 left and I’m definitely going to hit my goal. Yes!  The home stretch…

Right about here I got passed by a unicorn, no joke. Right around the bend was the finish!

Although I really dislike finishing races in the grass, I felt so awesome running up under the finish line under my goal pace. I was happy, excited, and pretty much completely in denial. For the next hour I was probably super annoying because I kept saying “whoa, I just ran that whole thing in under 11 minute miles, wait did I really do that??”

My goal for today was first just to have a good time. Last year was just not fun at all and I didn’t want that to happen again. I went back and forth about having a time goal. Ultimately I decided that if I was feeling good after mile 1 or 2 and thought I could, then I’d try for less than 70 minutes (about an 11:15/mile pace), if I wasn’t feeling good then I’d just take it easy and enjoy the run.

Final stats:

  • Distance – 6.2 miles
  • Garmin Time – 1:07:35
  • Average pace – 10:51/mile!!!!!!

My official time is about a minute more because it wasn’t chip timed so it took me a good 30 seconds just to cross the start and then another 30 seconds or so for them to take my bib-slip-thingy.

If you had asked me last night if I thought I could make it under 70 minutes I would probably have said “Maybe.. if I try really, really hard, but it’s honestly just not very likely.”  Actually I did say pretty much exactly that last night haha.

Last year I ran this exact same race and it was not a very positive experience. I was still pretty new to really running and I thought I was ready when I really wasn’t. On top of everything I felt awful the day of the race, my stomach was killing me. We got to the race really late due to a parking mix up and ended up starting a good 10 minutes or so after the gun went off. It wasn’t chipped time so I honestly never even looked up my official time since I knew it would be so disappointing. I walked a large portion of the race and finished around 1:28 with an average pace of over 14 minutes per mile!

Fast forward one year and I cannot believe how much my running has improved! My attitude is completely different, my training is completely different, and I’m just a lot more fit in general. Its taken so long for me to really make a lot of progress as far as my pace in concerned and I can honestly say I wasn’t really sure I’d ever get to where I am today.

I know to the average runner this is far from speedy, but for me its pretty exciting. I’m so happy to finally see myself getting faster and I can’t wait to where my running will go from here 🙂

Can’t wait for my next race!