As I was leaving, I told myself, Geez. This is like the night before Baldwin Park. The dog had an accident, I dropped something, and I was running late - and then I PR'd by 18 minutes. I better PR today. I flipped on my iPod and started my pre-race playlist, which I hadn't listened to since June - and the first song was Four Minutes by Madonna and Justin Timberlake. I had a quick argument with myself that went something like:
That would be a nice PR!
But you didn't come here to PR, you came here to finish. You're almost 20 lbs heavier than you were last year, you haven't run a 10k by itself in 2 years, and you haven't raced in 4 months. Just cross the damn line and call it a day.
It was a beautiful, sunny, clear morning in the low 60's. I opted for a long-sleeved tech tee with no layer underneath and a running skirt. I should have stuck with a singlet as I got seriously hot, but it turned out fine anyway. The sun ducked behind the trees for much of the run through Celebration's neo-traditional neighborhoods. As I ran, I kept telling myself two things: pace yourself, and (Hector's infamous running advice to all of us in the club): Lean forward! You're running like you have a stick up your butt!
Leaning forward made me a lot faster. In fact, I went out way too hot on the first mile, which I ran in about 10:45. I got really nervous because I haven't been back to training long enough to maintain that pace, so I started to slow down a bit before the halfway mark, but I managed to settle into a comfortable pace after I reminded myself that this was just a pace run. My goal pace for the half marathon is 11.5-11.75 minutes per mile, or around 1 minute per mile faster than my fastest half. Still, the miles were flying by, even though I slowed down for water a few times. I didn't wear my glasses, so things were not as crisp as usual, but it seemed to make the time go by faster - in fact, I reached the 5k point in the same time it took me to run my second-fastest 5k. At the 4-mile mark, I started to really feel rough. My head was throbbing and my stomach was pretty upset: it was Friday night all over again. I looked at the time and realized that, even if I walked for parts of the next 2.2 miles to bring down my heart rate and relieve some of the discomfort, I would still finish this race with a PR. I told myself, even if I have to puke, I'll still PR.
So that's exactly what I did. The latter, not the former.
The last 2.2 miles zoomed by in spite of the nausea and walk breaks every few minutes. I hit the 5-mile mark in 59:40, just 40 seconds faster than my fastest 5-mile race. Around 5.75 miles, I stopped walking. From there to the finish chute, I increased the pace from a 12-minute mile to an 8-minute mile. That put me across the finish line in 1:13:50 - a pace of 11:52.9 My last 10k? 1:17:14, or a pace of 12:25.7.
A PR of almost 4 minutes.
How ironic is that?
The OUC Half Marathon on 12/02/2006: 2:45:04 or 12:39.7/mile. That's my half-marathon PR, which I'm looking to match if I can't beat it (anything's better than the 2:50:56 I ran in Jacksonville last year.) And, of course, the Philly Marathon sucked, so almost any finish time at the marathon will be a PR.
But a weird thing happened after the race. My ex-husband finished his first 10k in 55:30, 3 minutes per mile faster than I finished. But I was more excited about my own PB. All of a sudden, I don't care that I'm at the back of the pack. What's changed? It finally sunk in that, if all I do is worry about everyone else being faster than I am, I'm never going to be happy and I'm never going to improve.
I have another cold. Big shock right? I'm not even bothering with a trip to the doctor since they'll just tell me it's "allergies" that I don't have. I'm taking a second rest day today and I logged anothr 1.4lb loss at WW yesterday. That's a little closer to my weight PB of 25lbs less than I am right now.
Rock and roll.