Sunday, January 6, 2013

Race Report - Winter Series 8k

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!

Race Stats:
Winter Series 8k
Finish time:  52:32 (garmin); 52:35 (official)
Pace per mile:  10:34mpm (garmin)
Place:  278 of 366

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