So I went into Sunday's race with 5 days of zero exercise. The calf was as rested as I could make it. The weather was about 60 degrees with a breeze, so I could have gone either way with shorts or pants.. I chose the latter, just to keep my calf warmer.
The race field had about 275 people, of which, 270 or so seemed to take the race way more seriously than I was. Whatevs. Who knows what goes through the minds of others..?
To refresh, the plan was for an easy start, and if all was well, go for 9 minute miles. I did a warmup jog of 100 meters, and felt great (if only I could always take 5 days off?).
The course profile looks like this:
When I got to the starting line, I actually saw two people I knew.. One was spectating, and the other was racing. Well, he and I wound up starting next to each other, and off we went! Our first mile was a 8:53 pace, with all of the early race excitement.. I felt good. Really good.
Turns out my buddy hadn't prepped for this.. he was pushed into it due to some co-workers, and he had only done a 7 miler up to this point.. He usually rolls for 5 or less. OK, no problem.
We maintained an easy pace, and had a good conversation going.. I grabbed a drink every two miles, and walked the length of the aid stations.. a bit shorter of a walk than I had anticipated. Well, the pace slowed to 9:20.. 9:30ish... 9:45. The first half of the race is generally downhill.. Hmm.
My calf was feeling good, zero complaints. I did feel a twinge on my left knee, about the spot for some ITBS, so that had me worried. Plus, I felt like I was really slogging it.. I wanted to go faster.
Well, at the 10K mark, I sensed we were going to be rolling uphill for a ways. I made sure he was OK with it, and I separated from my buddy.
Sidebar: I felt bad about that, I really did. But, we didn't have a pre-arranged deal that we'd run together, and this was my prep race for my half.. I had stuff to do, man!
So, the average pace was a little over 9:20 at the 10K. I felt good, so I turned it on.
8:15, 8:14, 7:38, 7:30 paces. That's a negative split if I ever saw one!
Watch time was 1:23:17 with an 8:52 pace. Gun time was 1:23:15. I'll take the gun time, please. Plus, it was a guaranteed PR.
I also got a long sleeve tech shirt, plus a coffee mug for finishing. That, with the food and water, made this race an absolute steal at $15.
Today, the knee feels a little off, but not bad, and my upper legs are all muscularly tired. Overall, I am ecstatic with the results. I wanted 10 minute miles, and really wanted 9. I beat both. Wow.
I took today off, and am going to see how tomorrow goes.. I think it will hinge on what the knee feels like. If it's out of whack due to my leg muscles being beat up, no biggie. I'd like to get an easy recovery run in on Tuesday or Wednesday. That would set me up for another easy run on Friday, followed by a long one on Sunday.
I'm stoked.. The training has been working, and knock on wood, I'm on target for the half marathon in 6 weeks.
Keep on rockin!