When I saw my mile 1 split, the 5K course clock, and my mile 4 split during the Plaza 10K, a thought kept popping into my head: "I'm either going to have a huge PR or a huge blow up". God blessed me with the former; I ran a PR of 36:34, nearly a minute under my previous road PR from the 2017 Plaza 10K and even under my track PR of 37:09 (I also broke 18:00 for the 5K for the first time during the process). I thought races like this only happened to other people, and I may never beat this time, so I am going to ride this post-race high so hard!
|Working on my season goal of smiling in my|
I thought I'd worked my PRs down low enough (in relation to my capability) that I'd be lucky anytime I could shave off a few seconds. It's always blown my mind to see experienced runners with already fast bests drop a lot of time off of a PR, especially when they remark afterwards that they got out there and felt fantastic running faster than they'd expected, so they just kept going and ran a time beyond what they'd dreamed. I've had some break-through races like this years ago before I was running to my potential (the 2015 Waddell and Reed half was the most memorable one, when I hoped for 1:26:59 and ran 1:24:33), but I thought I was to the point where my margins were slim enough that dropping even 2-3 seconds/mile would be a really good day. In fact, I went into the Plaza 10K thinking that if I had a really good day I might be able to rival my track PR of 37:09. I thought if a miracle happened I might hit 36:59 and my big dream goal of breaking 37, but that would be a stretch.
Since I ran this race last year, I knew the course and logistics, which is always helpful. I also had a planned pace partner, my friend Jessi who I trained with as often as I could while she was running for Missouri State (she now lives in Kansas City). I seemed to always nail workouts when I ran with her, so I was optimistic that she and I could pull each other through to stronger performances than we'd have alone. I felt good coming off my performance 6 days previously at the Run for a Child 10K, and I also felt completely recovered from that, despite being in a 73 mile week (I did have 2 short days prior to the race, which helped!). I knew the women's field as a whole would be very competitive, and when race morning gave us 58 degree temperatures, fast times looked promising.
|The start seemed much more crowded than this!|
I pulled up with Jessi towards the end of mile 2, and settled in stride with her. I didn't look at my second mile split because I felt like I was running exactly as I should be for a 6.2 mile race. I didn't want to get discouraged if the pace was slower than I wanted, and I didn't want to get scared if it was faster than I'd expected. Mile 2 was 5:48 so I'm glad I didn't look because I would have been worried I was going too fast too early. I have learned to trust that I race best when I race by effort, and I've learned to let go of thinking I need to micro-manage every single split, especially when I'm in a competitive field.
Jessi and I said a few words of encouragement to each other and pressed on side-by-side. Janell was also right in front of us (I mentioned her in my post about Rock the Parkway, where we ran nearly the whole race together before she out-kicked me - she is also training for a 2:45 at CIM and working with the same coach as me!). We all passed the 5K clock together, and it read 18:08ish, although based on my splits it should have been more like 18:20, which doesn't surprise me because every course mile marker was slightly wrong, mostly coming too soon. I hadn't looked at my mile 3 Garmin split, and I didn't do the math on our pace, but did tell Jessi, "Well, I just ran a 5K PR". I felt like I was running within myself, and I felt like I could run that pace for that distance again (often I don't at the 5K mark of a 10K!)....but at the same time I thought, "This is either going to go really well or really poorly!" I also kept thinking, "58 degrees is like a performance-enhancing drug!"
|Jessi & I synchronized running right|
behind Janell on the Plaza
|Around mile 4|
|It's a nice course, but it's not a track!|
Once I was close enough to read the finishing clock, it read 36:12, and I knew I was going to be way under 37:00. I kicked it in with all I had left, which gave me a 5:25 pace final 0.28 on my Garmin and a bright shiny new PR of 36:34, chip time! One of my season goals is to smile for my finishing pictures, but I think I'd have been glowing in this one even without that game plan. My previous road PR was 37:30, which I ran last year at this same race, and my track PR is 37:09 so I beat that as well.
|Finishing with joy|
|I love how we can all race each other while supporting each other 100%|
|Because when your Garmin says 5:49, you|
take a picture!
|As a whole, GAP was -2/mile on average pace|
|I will probably never beat this|
|This would also be my fastest 2 mile|
since high school track!
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. - Proverbs 16:3The more I give my running to God, the better I feel about it. That doesn't mean I perform any better or see linear progress - and early 2018 is sure proof of that - but that I know I'm going to be just fine no matter how races and workouts go. I'm sure thankful for this one, and also for the opportunity to continue to pursue my running dreams. Next up is the Indy Women's Half Marathon on September 29!