Well, that plan kind of failed. As usual, January and February were cold. February was especially cold as we didn't get above freezing for most of the month and there were many subzero mornings. I'm a hearty Minnesotan, but I'm not THAT hearty. So my mileage has been very low and I only got in a handful of runs in the 6-8 mile range.
I went into this race with no expectations besides finishing. I didn't have a pace goal in mind; I decided to just try to hold a pace that felt comfortable. My previous PR was 1:32:32, which is about a 9:15 average pace. I went into this thinking there was no way I'd beat that PR.
Luckily the race-day weather was perfect. It was 37 degrees and sunny so I was able to just wear a light long sleeve and running pants.
|Getting ready to head out the door, feeling awfully nervous about how this race would go.|
In my mind I thought it was realistic that I'd run around a 9:20-9:30 minute/mile pace. Here is how my splits broke out:
Mile 1 -8:24
Mile 2 - 8:26
* After the first couple of miles I was surprised how comfortable the 8:30'ish pace felt. I figured this race would turn into a tale of me starting too fast but I decided to just stick with the pace I was running since it felt good.
Mile 3 - 8:32
Mile 4 - 8:29
Mile 5 - 8:23
* At the halfway point I thought - "huh, I guess maybe I will PR."
Mile 6 - 8:20
Mile 7 - 8:25
Mile 8 - 8:24
Mile 9 - 8:28
Mile 10 - 8:22
The rest - 1:30 (the course measured 0.17 miles long)
|The happy smile of a girl that just surprised herself and PR'd!|
- 338th out of 1,029 total runners
- 128th out 576 female runners
- 31st out of 107 F30-35 runners
The only explanation I can come up with for this surprise PR is that I've done a lot of strength training and cross training over the last year. If you need proof that strength training and cross training matter, my PR is proof of that. I have done no speed training, hills, tempo runs, etc since last September. The only explanation for my ability to maintain an 8:35 pace for 10 miles is that the combination of strength training and cardio I have done has made me a far stronger runner than I was when all I did was run!
It's nice to have a strong race under my belt. Now I can focus on my next race which is a half marathon at the end of April!! The spring session of my running club started on Saturday so my goal is to run with the group one week night and on Saturday mornings. This 10-mile race showed me that I am in better shape than I thought I was so I am feeling good about my overall level of fitness!
But all that said, even though I ran a strong race and PR'd - I'm NEVER signing up for a March race again. I learned my lesson - nothing will turn me into a person who loves running in bitterly cold Minnesota temps!