Another gal from our running group was wanting to break 1:30, along with a group of about 5 guys from the area. It would be a perfect situation for a GMP workout. Unfortunately, we started a bit fast and I just decided to go with it. Here's the good news- I felt awesome. Awesome meaning that the 6:40s felt slow. I decided to stick with about 3 guys that pulled ahead of Speedy Amy. We stayed in this pack for the first 6 miles, and I was lead female from the gun.
6:42, 6:38, 6:36, 6:37, 6:37, 6:32
We discussed that we had a wind behind us, knowing good and well that the trip back would be considerably slower. At Mile 6, we started to break up a bit. I had a Hammer Gel mishap where I dropped it and was going to leave it. Then I changed my mind and turned around for it. Yeah, I'm an idiot that is a winning a race and actually turns around and runs the other direction. This set back made my final course on Garmin 13.18 (not too bad).
When I caught back up, the group had separated a bit. One guy fell back and another one had sped off. Myself and friend, Jack, would run the remainder of the race together. The pace was still so effortless that I talked a LOT. I tried to ask him questions, but he was struggling a bit and couldn't respond. I asked him if he wanted to me to shut up, and he laughed, saying he liked the distraction from his own pain.
6:44 (gel mile), 6:33, 6:31, 6:37
These miles were on an out-and-back section. We got to see all of our friends. It was really fun to cheer for everyone, and I even high-fived some folks. Jack was commenting on my energy, telling me to go ahead and just race. I didn't really want to, though, just enjoying how I was able to run fairly fast and feel so GREAT! Plus, 2nd female was about 2ish minutes behind, and I was pretty sure she wasn't going to gain.
Then we turned into the wind, which kind of sucked the Wow-This-Is-So-Fun-ness out of me. I turned from running cheerfully to running grouchily. Jack was starting to struggle. To help him I out, I got right in front of him (hoping to block the wind) and told him to get behind me. We were quiet for a few miles. He did great, and I told him to go get his final kick for a PR. I was going to settle back into my Run-Happy-ness and cruise in.
6:41, 6:42, 6:41
0.18 in 1:09
Final Time: 1:27:20
1st Overall Female, 11th finisher
As I was approaching the finish line, I was thinking how crazy it was that I was so close to my PR, yet this felt so effortless. It was this same feeling that made me feel a bit of regret in not tapering and committing to actually racing. It could've been a day for a half PR! I'm disappointed about that decision, but very grateful and happy for how strong I felt out there. I mean, to run only 5 seconds off PR and feel as good as I did really means SOMETHING. It means improvement. It means progress. YAY!
Ps. This Wednesday is my court date for the Mean Dogs. Let's hope for JUSTICE!