Another beautiful day for a race. 50 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. We got to see the sunrise through The Arch.
I did this same race last year and attained a PR, but was still disappointed in my performance due to a serious burn out from mile 8 on.
This year, I managed to maintain a consistent training schedule and made some significant gains in my speed and endurance. My goal was a sub-3 hour finish. I calculated that I would need to average 13:39 min/mile to accomplish this. I started the race using a 3 min : 1 min run/walk ratio. The 1st few miles went very smoothly. I was taking it pretty easy, but my pace was significantly faster than anticipated. I decided to go w/it and see where it took me. By the 2nd half of the course, I was not gliding along as easily as before.
To add to my mental angst was the realization that I would be running at least 13.3 miles by the time I finished. Sooo... even tho I was still maintaining my target pace, I was worried that w/the extra distance I might not make my finish time goal. I know, 0.2 of a mile, BIG WOOP!, but at the end of a race that seems like a lot. I knew this was normal for a big race w/all the zig zagging w/the crowd, but I had forgotten.
I was determined not to let myself down. Since my running pace was slowing down, at around mile 10 I increased my run interval to 3:30. It was easier for me to run longer, at a slower pace, than to run faster for a shorter time. After mile 11, I increased the run interval to 4:00 and I mostly ran the last mile. Slowly, but I plodded along.
I never bonked, but I was very uncomfortable.
In the last mile, as I was slowly passing a young man on a hill, a male spectator asked the runner man if he was going to let a girl pass him. He said "damn straight". That gave me a little boost, even tho I wasn't worried about who was passing me or who I was passing. I was only racing against myself.
At the very end, w/the finish in sight, there was a woman w/a microphone encouraging us the last few yards. She told me I was almost there and I answered "YES!". After that, I couldn't stop saying that. LOL I just kept saying "Yes, Yes, Yes...." all the way to the Finish Line.
FINALLY, after 3 years and 11 races, I have a finish time that starts w/ a 2!
5K - 00:42:12 - 13:35 min/mile
10K - 01:23:42 - 13:22 min/mile
10M - 02:15:16 - 13:38 min/mile
FINISH - 02:56:52 - 13:23 min/mile
Avg. Pace - 13:30 min/mile