I got up at 6am...nice to be able to sleep in for a 9am race start! Got my coffee and breakfast down feeling very anxious. Road races are not what I'm used to, especially recently. I haven't been on anything but trail since last winter. The bigger source of anxiety for me is the fact that road races = speed tests... for coach to see where I am at and what we need to work on. It's a test of my raw speed and endurance. I tend to feel very exposed and vulnerable. I was anxious for sure, but not as much as usual....mainly because of a post I read here on Eric's website.
A "newbie" posted about his history which reminded me of mine followed by a question..."My average mile time is 10min...Is it reasonable that I can get to 7.5-8 min?" I thought about what my average time was 3 years ago....and what I was shooting for today. I thought "you bet it is, let me show you!!!!" That's what I had in my brain. I wanted to show this newbie that you betcha, I did...and then some... and I was going to see just how fast I could make that min/mi time be today, so he could shoot for that and then some too.
This and mantras "I want this", "you've got this" floating in my brain along with eminem's "lose yourself" humming as I did my pre race warm up. I was warming up nicely and feeling fairly calm. Over 4,000 15 k runners and about 5,000 5k runners were out there today. A huge crowed. Some sweet memories of Boston floated in and out. I lined up and moved up toward the front where I could see pacing groups close to where I was hoping to land. 2 minutes before the gun fired, guess what song started blaring?? "Lose yourself" By Eminem..."lose yourself in the music, the moment, you want it, you better never let it go..." Perfect timing I thought. I smiled and the gun fired. Coach had set up some loose pacing parameters for me...The first 3k I would run at a 7:30-7:45 pace. I was running a 7-7:15 and feeling like I was holding back. I tried to make myself slow down but couldn't so, I determined I would not go under 7:10, I would compromise. I cruised at that pace for the first 3k. From 3K to around 10k I was to increase my pace to 7:15-7:30. I was still in the 7-7:15 range and feeling strong so I stayed there. I felt strong and good, upper end of moderate feel, but not hard. I held this to the turnaround at 7.5K. The kilometers clicked off so fast! At the turnaround I amped my effort up a little and held my pace. At 15k to finish I was to try and increase my pace to 7-7:15 "if possible"....I was already there and holding it. I was pretty tickled....getting tired and effort harder to maintain, but pleased. The last 5k I planned to be painful and it was. The last 3k is a real squeeze as you go up a series of small hills to the finish, like a ladder. My pace dropped the last 2.5 miles to 7:20-7:45, but I gave those stinkin' hills all I had and the last 3-5k was every bit as painful and looong as I had anticipated it would be so I embraced it and said, "you've got this" over and over and "just lose yourself". I finished in 1:08. 3rd female in my age division of over 300 runners deep. In 2010 I finished in 1:45 min....well over an 11min mile pace. So I say to Daniel Krage....YOU BET YOU CAN! And.....thank you for your post, it motivated me to see just how fast can I make those min/mi splits be for you to see what you can do.....and then some.