I decided that I would only look at my watch enough to see the mile splits. Other than that, I wanted to run by one feeling: hard. By the end of the first mile when I hit the lap button, I noticed my time. 7:00. (That’s my 800m repeat pace, btw.) I faded a little bit on a moderate climb back to the start/finish. When I hit the second loop, the gentle downhill felt out of control, as if at any moment, my legs would fly out from under me and I’d hit the pavement. The broken pavement along 1st street really didn’t help matters. Please don’t fall, I thought.
The second mile was kind of a train wreck, in 7:24. For most of that mile, under sunny skies, a dark cloud formed over my head. It took everything within me to keep going without a walk. Since I only do mile and 800m repeats at those paces, my body begged for a recovery 400m. After all, that is what it usually is given as a reward. Not today, legs.
A few friends walked the 5K with their families and cheered for me from the end of their first lap as I completed my second. It was at the place in my run that I needed it most. I was also passed by someone I recognized. I pictured myself holding onto a rope behind her. Glue yourself to Melanie, if she slows down, you can slow down, I promise, I reasoned. Thankfully, she never did. I rallied for the final mile, finishing the remaining 1.1 miles in 7:52, a 7:05/mi pace.
Huffing and puffing, gasping for breath, I crossed the finish line with a new PR. I so needed this race to go well. :)
Matt also had a PR day.
He finished in 18:15. 5:53/mi.
All photos courtesy of Y. Kim, SRRC.