Since November, I’ve really been focusing on trying to increase my mileage (smartly) in the hopes of continuing all the improvement I saw last year. I’ve run my highest mileage week ever this month, and wasn’t exactly rested for this race. But, it was always in the back of my mind that maybe I wanted to do it. This is a local race that has been going on forever, and one I felt like I should finally do before moving away. The long-sleeved tech-tee and a chance to hang out with my friend Margaret sealed the deal. So, I dragged myself out of bed at the crack of dawn this morning. Thank goodness Doug had to work early, or it would have been harder to get up. I ate some corn flakes, drank a little (not enough) water, got dressed, and headed out in the cold. By Michigan standards it wasn’t cold, but low 40s and foggy is cold in NC! I wore my cw-x tights, a short sleeved tech-tee, and a long sleeved one. Threw a fleece and gloves on top for the pre-race portion, and headed out.
Margaret and I were going to meet at the race at 7:15, but being my usual self I got there at 7, so I got my packet and sat in my car until I saw her pull into the parking lot in her fancy new car. We got her chip, found the rest rooms, and chatted (inside) until it was almost race time. The 4 mile race starts first, so we watched them head off, and then got in line. Margaret was being all serious about this one, so I left her near the front of the pack and wandered off to the back. Someone said some stuff through a megaphone that I couldn’t hear, and we were off!
The course starts off in Downtown Durham, and then goes through the Forest Hills neighborhood, which is one of those places I’ve always thought I could live, if I ever bought a house here. I enjoyed looking at the varied architecture…and completely failed to pace myself. During this section, I was running pretty close with a girl who I’ll call sweat pants girl (SPG). She was wearing sweatpants with a flimsy elastic waist, and had her keys in the pocket so her pants kept slipping down and she’d have to hike them up again. I decided she seemed to be going at about my pace, so I tried to keep her in my sights. Splits from the first 5 miles…
Mile 1: 10:04 (ok, I like this, this is good)
Mile 2: 9:44 (oh no….slow down!)
Mile 3: 9:56 (ok…that’s a little better)
Mile 4: 8:52 (hahaha…that marker is in the wrong place!)
Mile 5: 12:04 (told ya..and I lost SPG)
Then, we hit the American Tobacco Trail and I looked forward to flat running for a while. This year, the race was designated a RRCA championship race, and a lot of local speedsters came out for it. Joan Nesbit Mabe was there with many members of her Carrboro Athletics Club…the first of whom I saw heading back, approaching the 11 mile marker…as I was just approaching the 6 mile marker. He was flying, so I paid attention to the time – it was 3 minutes before I saw the second place guy. Running up to the turn-around was really entertaining, because I got to watch everyone coming back the other way. As I said, many speedsters, and then I saw Margaret looking really strong (and almost done!). I got to the turn-around, headed back, and tried to keep from losing it in the last few miles like I normally do. Around the 15k mark my stomach started growling. Then, I passed the 10 mile mark about 18 minutes sooner than I had ever passed it in any other race and got all excited. Shortly after the 11 mile mark, though, I started fading. At this point I told myself I just had to get to the 12 mile mark, and then run in as hard as I could for the last .4. I managed to keep SPG in my sight the whole race, but never did catch up to her after I lost her around mile 5. Splits from the last 7.4:
Mile 6: 10:17 (a little slower than I wanted, but not bad)
Mile 7: 9:53 (woah there…)
Mile 8: 10:17
Mile 9: 10:44 (oops…)
Mile 10: 10:05 (better…and hungry)
Mile 11: 10:28 (getting tired now)
Mile 12: 11:22 (ugh)
Last .4: 3:51 (9:37 pace)
Total time: 2:07:42
Average pace: 10:18
I didn’t wear my HRM – shocker of the year right there! Just didn’t feel like it.
Margaret and I hung out, chatted and ate for a while after the race.
I have never run a 20k before, so that’s a PR! I also sets me up for a rather large half marathon PR, whenever I decide to run one of them again, as my current PR is 2:33:41 – lets hope that extra .7 wouldn’t take me 26 minutes!
I’m really pleased with my performance today. I didn’t rest like I normally would have for a half marathon. My weekly mileage record was just last week, and I ran 11.6 last Sunday. I could say that I would have done it faster if I rested more, but that may or may not be true. Usually I start to lose it after the 10 mile mark, but managed to hang on basically until 11 this time. I supposed throwing some more 10+ mile runs into my schedule should help with that – I’d like to get to the point where I know I can maintain my pace through the last few miles of a half.
Anyway, it was a good day! Thanks for reading!