I was fortunate enough to have an "A" corrall assignment as a result of my marathon time last year. Lining up at the front of a 30,000 field was quite an awesome experience. I felt professional.
If you check out yesterday's post, you'll see that I set a goal of a P.R. of 32:25. Had I not run the half so well last week, I wouldn't have dreamed of setting it. Even McMillan's chart said I was in position for 33:02.
I blasted out of the gate with the top runners and quickly realized I was nearly in over my head. I tried to calm myself and get a rhythm. Truthfully, my legs felt a little soft in the first mile. I was really concerned that I wouldn't be able to hold the sub-7 pace I knew I wanted to hold.
At Mile 2, I grabbed a gatorade and pushed ahead. I sighed in relief when I saw 16:30 on my watch, because then I knew I was about half way done. I hit the 5k mark at 20:01 and laughed to myself when I thought about last year I how I wasn't sure I would ever get a sub-20 5k. I just nearly did it in an 8k race.
For the last 1.5 miles, I really couldn't tell how fast I was running. The heat was getting to me and I wasn't sure if I had the endurance to come anywhere close to my first three miles. Like I’ve heard many times before, racing HURTS.
When I rounded the turn and hit mile four with a 6:29 split, I knew I could P.R. I buckled down and braced for some pain. The hill on the final 0.5 really got me panting something fierce.
When I made the final turn to see the finish in the distance, I knew I had a P.R., but, wait, could I actually break 32:00?
The answer was YES!
I am not afraid to admit that the 5k and 8k races seem to take more out of me than the double-digit milers. Maybe it's my imagination, but these 3 and 5 mile races are sprints that rip me up. I needed a nap this afternoon.
I celebrated with a free beer and then lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.
Now, I am getting ready for bed so I can get my long run in this week. Nothing like getting up at 5:00 AM for an 18-miler.
TOTAL MILEAGE FOR THIS WEEK: 35
GOAL FOR 3/26 WEEK: 45 (incl. a 17-18 miler and a 20 miler)