Today was the San Dimas Turkey Trot 10K. I ran it last year and I wanted to run it this year to see how much I've improved. I have a year of marathon training under my belt, I started doing speed work and tempos since then, and I've lost 25lbs. All signs pointed to a PR.
I think the kicker was a tempo run I did last week where I averaged 9 minute miles over the 5 miles of tempo. I figured with the hills and the mixture of pavement and dirt at Bonelli, that I would plan on a 9:15 pace. But a part of me was dreaming of 9 min miles! So going into the race, these were my goals.
A goal - 55:55, 9:00 per mile pace
B goal - 57:28, 9:15 per mile pace
C goal - beat last years time of 1:02:35
The B goal was what I told myself I would be happy with and what I should plan for. Normally, I would set my garmin for the race distance and the pace I wanted to go and then track my progress so I didn't get too far off it. But I've been reading Matt Fitzgerald's Run:The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel and I just finished it last night. I decided to go by feel for this race instead of by pace. I was a little nervous but I figured that I could do it.
I'm happy to report that I hit my A goal! Well 55:56. And that even included some balance beam walking across two boards that spanned the stream we had to cross in mile 3. Here are my splits for the first 6 miles:
1 - 8:18.66
2 - 8:25.90
3 - 9:13.05 (with the stream crossing)
4 - 8:46.35
5 - 8:57.59
6 - 8:46.64
And the last .2ish miles were actuall .46 per my garmin - 3:37:32 (a 7:55 pace!). I don't think I could have been that far off the tangents so I'm not sure about that.
Anyway, it was a great run and I would say that I gave an even effort all the way thru and really kicked it after mile 6 on my garmin. The hills were easy and I think the running that I've been doing there has really helped. Best part was a high-five I received from another woman at the end of the race. We had run together thru the whole race (not intentionally, we just seemed to be the same pace). I lost her a little at the stream and then caught up to her on the uphills but she would pass me on the downhills. At the end, we passed a few people and then after mile 6 when I turned on the turbos, I finally left her behind. She congratulated me for "smoking" her at the end. I told her thanks too for pushing me thru the race (because she was my rabbit - which I didn't tell her).
Today was a great day for racing...Hit my A goal, PRd this race by 6 1/2 minutes, and I was 4th in my age group (out of 13 in the 40-44, 24/126 for women, and 80/236 overall). I treated myself to a half slice of Meat Lovers and a half slice of Hawaiian at New York Pizza Company to celebrate.
I've been thinking that I need to rethink this whole "I'm a penguin" thing. In the book, Matt talks about Haile and that he "ran faster because he tried to run faster". And he also says "chasing personal bests encourages your mind and body to conspire to allow you to run faster than you ever have before". If I stop putting limits on myself and instead dream big, I'll see what I'm really capable of. And I think that's exciting.