You know those days where you go out running and for whatever reason, you just have a good day? And out of nowhere, you surprise yourself by going farther or faster than you had before?
Today I had a good day. And out of nowhere, I set a new PR at the 10K distance! I ran the Mardi Gras 10K in Galveston this morning in 1:02:43, lowering my PR at that distance by 27 seconds!
I don’t even really know what to say. It was totally unexpected, and I’m pretty shocked.
The weather was crappy — overcast and cold, and the breeze off the ocean was not helping. I was freezing as we walked over to the beach pavilion to get our chips. I knew I’d warm up once I started running, but I was so cold that I decided to start the race wearing two long sleeve tech tees in an attempt to block the breeze. (I also wore gloves and a headband that covered my ears.) The double tech tee worked, of course, but by mile 1 I was too warm. I knew it would happen. But the upside to the cold weather was that it allowed me to run my fastest. Had it been even 10 degrees warmer, I doubt I would have finished as quickly.
I ran the first two miles with Debbie in 10:02 and 10:13. I stopped for less than a minute to walk at the two-mile mark, mainly to take off one of the tech shirts, tie it around my waist, and stick my earphones in my ears. I knew I wouldn’t catch Debbie again, but I was able to keep her about 30-50 feet ahead of me until the final mile, when she turned up the speed. She finished a minute or two ahead of me.
As I passed the mile 3 marker, I looked down to see a split of 11:26. That seemed pretty slow, since the only thing I’d done was walk for less than a minute and then slowed to drink some water. I was crossing my fingers that the marker actually was placed at the 5K mark. Passing mile 4 in 9:05 confirmed my suspicion.
I was starting to tire at this point, but I was hoping for a finish time around 1:04. Something respectable. I ran mile 5 in 10:13, and started really wishing that the finish line would hurry up and find me before I fell apart. I had been leapfrogging with an older guy who began to pull away from me. I couldn’t tell if this meant I was slowing down or not — because oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I neglected to change my Garmin from bike mode back to running mode. So instead of pace, it was showing my average speed. It had read 5.9 miles per hour the whole race, which I knew was just over 10:00 pace, but I didn’t know exactly how much.
Now, I knew I was running hard and had been the whole race, but it wasn’t until the 1 hour mark, when I looked at my wrist and noticed I had only 0.3 miles to go, that I realized I had a shot at a new PR. When I realized that, boy I turned on the jets and ran as fast as I could for the finish line. I never saw the 6 mile marker, but I ran the last 1.2 miles in 11:42. I felt nauseous and crossed the line gasping for air, but I did it.