Monday, March 10, 2008

RR: St. Patrick's Day 8K

St. Patrick's Day 8K
Washington, DC
March 9, 2008

Official Chip Time: 1:00:58

General Thoughts: Cold, Windy and Wonderful Race Day!

After you've done a few years of running, you know when it's different. You know when you are having a good day. For me, the tip off was the sound my feet were making on the pavement or maybe that should be the "lack of sound."

I was running but I couldn't really hear my footfalls. The woman I was passing, in her Army 10 Miler tech shirt and wind vest had a heavy foot slap on the pavement - THUMP, THUMP, THUMP and I thought " Pick up your feet girl, your wasting your energy..."

The other tip that things were different this time, was the way that I was passing people early on and feeling good, strong, happy. The temp was 30F and the winds were 20-25 mph and I was running happy. HA!

8K (roughly 4.8 miles) was the distance and my goal was slow by average run paces - 13:00 minute miles - but FAST when you look at the times I had last season of 14:00s and beyond. I had a DREAM TIME for this early in the season - Sub 1:00 hour. Still pedestrian but some standards but faster than I have run in over 2 years.

Maybe it was the wind at my back or maybe it was Nancy's great advice yesterday to imagine myself "an Eagle being lifted on the winds" when we had a head wind a tip previously suggested by Ironman Triathlete Natascha Baddman. I know that my friend's Linae and Shawn's outstanding AGE GROUP results in Florida at the Armadillo Run 5k yesterday had me pumped and excited to JFR. (just freakin' run)

I was in a good headspace. No waterbelt, No GU - it's just 8K. I could have used the one and only waterstop closer to Mile 2.5 rather than Mile 3 but it was the same for everybody so there was no point in getting upset. Oh and 30F and cold water makes for some awful instant headaches!

I hit Mile 4 with nearly 9 minutes until the 1-hour mark as we turned left onto Pennsylvania Ave. I thought I had a SUB 1:00 in the bag but the race gods had other plans for me. There was some MENTAL training that I still needed to do.

You see the race route had about 5 out and back legs on the course. 4 of them I had remembered but number 5 was hiding less than 2/10 from the finish line. I was just tooling along, feeling good but ready to finish when I realized the runners in front of me were turning LEFT.

Brain: "WHAT? But the finish line is RIGHT THERE..."
Feet: Turn Left - Go, Go, Go
Brain: "Well FORGET IT, I'll never SUB 1-hour NOW!"
Feet: Around the traffic cone, look up please, where do we go now?
Brain: "THIS SUCKS, who makes you do this just before the finish line...
Eyes: Ease left feet, I see the finish line, glance at watch - LOOK 59:30..."
Brain: OH, DAMN! J_F_R - SUB 1:01 counts for something...
Feet & Lungs: GO, GO, GO

Well I did it... 1:00:58 and just about a 12:11 pace. I took another 45 seconds per mile off my pace from just 3 weeks ago when I race the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon.

In the last 10 weeks I have dropped 12 pounds and over 2:00 minutes per mile off my average mile pace in spite of on-going rotator cuff injuries. I can't WAIT to see what my times look like come early June!

Life is Good! LiveSTRONG!

1 comment:

Shawn said...

Woooo Hoooo!! Go Holly Go!!

Great job, girl! I'm proud of you :)