My first race of 2013, the Winter Series 8k, went way better than I thought it would. (good sign for the rest of the year?? let's hope so!)
I had a rough December on the running front (rough as in didn't run a step for the last 2 weeks of the month), so I knew this was going to be a tough race - a 2 week backward step in fitness level was definitely not ideal for going into a race. If I learned anything in 2012 when it comes to racing goals, it was that I can't expect fantastic results from work I didn't do. So my only goal was to finish in an upright position.
Before the race, Marc and I were discussing my finish time. He predicted 48 minutes (which, at one time, actually was my goal). But knowing where I was with my fitness/running ability, I figured it would, on the highly optimistic side, take me 53 to 55 minutes, but in truth I was really expecting it to take an hour or more.
While waiting for the race to start, I must've changed the settings on my Garmin 4 times. At first I was thinking I'd attempt to run the whole way. Then I changed my mind and decided I needed to set run walk intervals. Then I thought, "no, it's a relatively short race I don't need intervals I'll run the whole way." Then I thought, "I'm not ready to run straight through; I think I'll end up with a faster time if I run/walk." "I can run this sucker!" "If I want to finish, I need to run/walk." It was like I had the little angel and devil on my shoulder arguing in my ear...
I ended up with a run/walk interval of 4:1, and it was the perfect choice. I could run hard without the feeling like I was making a huge mistake, because I knew the rest period would be coming fairly soon. I recovered well on the walks. But even with the walks, I still got tired and had to slow down the runs for the last 2 miles.
I left the watch on the interval time screen, so while I was running I didn't know exactly how long it was taking me. I had no clue how fast (or how slow) I was actually going, and believe it or not, it felt good. No pressure to pick up the pace to finish under a certain time.
At least not until I was in sight of the finish line and the time clock. When I saw what the clock said, I was shocked. I was under my "highly optimistic" possible finish time! In order to keep it that way, I dug deep and sped up just enough that I crossed the finish in 52:32 (garmin time)!! Yes!! A great way to start my racing year! Here's hoping for more good things to come!
Winter Series 8k
Finish time: 52:32 (garmin); 52:35 (official)
Pace per mile: 10:34mpm (garmin)
Place: 278 of 366