a PR sort of day

Monday, May 10, 2010

I set a new 10K PR at Saturday's Human Race! Official time was 56:09 (and that's counting the time it took to cross the starting line), and my Garmin (which I started at the starting line) clocked 55:46. This means I was running a roughly 9-minute mile (9:03 if you go by the official time, or 8:58 if you go by the Garmin), which is the fastest pace I've ever held for this distance ever, even in training.

I went into the race with no expectations -- just wanted to see my friends (Laura and Thai ran it too) and get a good workout in. I had planned to run with my friend Matt, who is one of the winemakers at work. He told me he usually runs about an 8:30 pace, which scared me a little because I have never sustained that pace for any sort of distance, but I figured I would try to keep up -- maybe he would pull me for a bit and get me out of my comfort zone, and then I would let him go on without me.

The first mile of the race was nothing short of chaotic. People had lined up in the wrong order -- walkers in front of runners, etc. -- resulting in a huge traffic jam. At one point, I got stuck behind a centipede and couldn't get around them. Matt and I tried our best to weave and dodge our way through the crowd without wasting all of our energy by sprinting. Things didn't really thin out until the 3K runners/walkers branched off and the 10K group began climbing hills.

We kept a pretty steady pace throughout, although I don't think we ever actually hit Matt's 8:30 until maybe the last mile or so. The course took us through Howarth and Spring Lake parks. There were some hills, but nothing insanely huge like my last 10K. The toughest part was the narrow trails -- there were a lot of bottlenecks, and we had to be careful not to cut people off or accidentally kick someone in the heels. The course also had quite a few twists and turns (including a very sharp 180), and those forced us to put the brakes on a little, too.

We picked up the pace during the last two miles and really pushed it in the final mile. It was kind of crazy because I ended up pulling Matt, and I thought he was the one who was going to have to do that for me. We finished four seconds apart. (And I was so excited by my time that I actually stood in someone's vomit and celebrated without realizing where my feet were until Matt pointed it out. And I'm still so excited about my time that remembering this vomit and the fact that my adorable Lunarglides were in it doesn't sick me out. Those of you who know me and my vomit phobia know this is very significant.)

Anyway, great race. I know a 9-minute mile in a 10K race is still a long way from Boston, but I'm happy because I'm starting to see all of my hard work paying off.

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