It's been awhile since I've come down the final stretch of a race to see a finishing time faster than expected with less effort than expected, but it's sure a great feeling! This was my fourth consecutive year running the Run for a Child 10K, and each year I've run faster there, although I didn't expect to continue that streak this year. My race plan of "win with the least effort possible" turned into winning overall female by over 5 minutes with a negative split and a 37:55, which was a course PR. It was one of those races where I felt like I kept gaining momentum and couldn't slow down - and those are rare to come by (I think the last time I felt like this was the Phoenix Marathon). I was pumped about defending my overall female title from 2017, I was ecstatic to break 38 on the hilly course in warm and humid conditions, but I was most thrilled about just how good I felt doing it! I guess God knew I needed a little confidence-boost at this point in my training, and I am very thankful for it.
|The big check photos prop never get old to me|
|Packet pick up; I always travel in |
I keep going back to the Run for a Child 10K each year; I am picky about races so this is saying something. I know it's always going to be warm, humid, and hilly, but for some reason I can embrace that for this race, I think because every year is comparable. My only goal going into the 2018 event was to try to defend my overall female title from 2017. That fate of that type of goal always depends on who else shows up, but I never stress about it like I sometimes do when I have time and pace goals, because I have no control over the former and a lot of control over the latter. I have a goal 10K coming up on September 9, so I also went into this one hoping to save my legs for that one. I'd briefly considered trying to better my 2017 time, but after running an 8 mile tempo that was really rough on me on August 29 (details here), including inducing a little pull in my right hamstring, I decided holding back was a better option. My husband and I discussed the plan the night before: try to win while running as slow as possible.
The best laid plans, right? The race went like this:
|Serious starting line debates with my friend|
Daniel, who was the male overall winner
|Can you see why mile 1 is slow?|
Mile 3 - I continued stride for stride with the male, and we were pulling in other men. I started to pull away a little towards mile 3, and encouraged him to come with me so he would move up in place, but he fell back and I was on my own. I felt like I was in a good place; putting in effort but still feeling really relaxed. Mile 3 was 6:08.
Mile 4 - I had to smile as I passed the halfway point, because typically in 10Ks I pass the 5K feeling like there is no way I can run that distance again at that pace (even though I always do so I know that feeling is a liar - it occurs in nearly every tempo too), but in this one it seemed like an easy task. I passed a couple of men and focused on the ones ahead of them. Mile 4 has a lot of uphill in it and in the past I've always slowed in that mile, so was prepared for that if effort stayed equal. When I saw my split of 6:10 I knew I was really having a good day. I then figured I could try to be under 39:00. In the past I've always been hurting pretty good at the mile 4 point of this race, but this year at every point I passed I kept thinking, "I feel so much better than every other time here", which is always encouraging!
Mile 5 - I felt like I was in a great rhythm and the effort was brisk but not dying (usually mile 5 of a 10K feels like dying). I was running alone but there were two men within striking range, so I decided I'd try to pull them in. That mile was 6:07. At that point I was thinking I'd be somewhere around my 2016 and 2017 times (38:43 and 38:19), which was good enough for me!
Mile 6 - At this point I decided I'd try to run under 6:00 for the final mile for fun. I passed one of the men I'd been chasing and kind of just felt like I was barreling in towards the finish. I didn't look at my watch during or at the end of this mile, but I just knew I was running sub-6:00 (I've finished a lot of tempo runs with the same "sub-6:00 for fun" idea, and although those are on flatter courses I have a pretty good sense for pace). The split was 5:56.
|You can tell I'm not falling apart because my arm |
swing form hasn't gone to crap like usual, haha!
|Eyes on the clock|
Official results are here.
|Garmin splits - course splits would|
be a shade faster at 6:07 average
|I love Strava's grade-adjusted pace feature|
|I hope to be running when I'm in my 70s like|
2018 - 37:55 and 1st overall female
2017 - 38:19 and 1st overall female, details here
2016 - 38:43 and 3rd overall female, details here
2015 - 40:22 and 3rd overall female (recovering from cryptosporidum so this one set the bar pretty low to start with)
|Our traditional moms by the hotel pool selfie|
|Hotel pool = successful trip|
|Shel Silverstein wrote about this spot|
|Jon found a charging station for our Volt|
|Ice cream & Nickelodeon also make any |
|The Amazeum was pretty amazing|
|I'm not sure this was the safest children's' activity|
|Never stop exploring or believing!|