HOLY PR SWEETNESS.
I SHATTERED my previous PR by 17 MINUTES.
Race was executed perfectly - The plan was to go out easy the first few miles. Then hit goal marathon pace for the middle, then around mile 9 - hit it hard. What I actually did was way better!
I was feeling so good going into this race. After my awesome speedwork session Tuesday my legs were primed up. Last night I had pizza. This seems to be working for long runs so I thought I'd stick with it. I had a 5am wake up call and did the normal morning routine. Coffee, blogging, poop, brush teeth, get dressed, head out. I decided I wasn't going to use the Ipod. I wanted to stay focused. We had the perfect weather conditions - crisp cool and right around 55*. PR weather! I took two salt tablets and I was off.
As I started the race I noticed very quickly that I had accidentally changed the field on my watch to show my my Average Speed rather than my Average Pace. Doh! At first I was mad, but then I just realized this was the perfect opportunity to go by feel and really see where I was at pace wise rather than force it. There was a huge hill at mile 5 so I knew I needed to reserve my energy for this.
Mile 1 - 9:59
Mile 2 - 9:31
Mile 3 - 9:27
Mile 4 - 10:04
Mile 5 - 10:34
I totally thought I was going around a 10:20 pace (which is my planned marathon pace). Holy cow!
I was feeling so good at this point. I had taken my first gel at mile 4.5 and I was able to cruise through the water stop without stopping since I was feeling so good and on a spectacular pace.
Mile 6 - 10:
I knew I was in the clear for the hills since we had officially left Gig Harbor (holy hills land). This is what separates holy hills land from the remainder of the race.
I drive over this bridge every day. It's a toll bridge and I LOVE IT. Some of you may remember it by the name "Galloping Gertie" because it actualy collapsed in 1940. Very famous and interesting. Google it. Anyways, I've run over it dozens of times. It's almost exactly a mile long.
This point becomes a factor at this stage of the race. What most people consider 'hills' are actually just silly little speed bumps to those of us who run in Gig Harbor. If I ever bitch about having to run up and down hills constantly -- please please please direct my attention to this race report. I can't tell you how many people I passed running up these little speed bumps. It was completely effortless on my part. I was literally passing people left and right which was a first for me. While they were huffing and puffing or walking up I was completely comfortable and barely faltered my pace. Usually I start out in the back and usually end up staying there. It felt so good and only fueled my fire.
Mile 6 - 9:42
Mile 7 - 9:19
Mile 8 - 9:35
Mile 9 - 9:43
At the 6 mile water stop, I took two more salt tablets and at about mile 8.5 I took a powerade chocolate gel. Gross. I tried it. Took half. Never again. Again, no walking just ran smoothly through.
Mile 10 - 13.1:
This is the part where my coach told me to just turn it on. I was feeling so good, like I hadn't just run 9 miles. I knew I had a great PR in the bag so I just went for it. Granted the last two miles were basically all down hill because we started in Gig Harbor and ended in another city (Tacoma, WA). Nonetheless.
Mile 10 - 9:22
Mile 11 - 9:06
Mile 12 - 8:25
Mile 13 - 7:42
Garmin reports 2:03:30. This is HUGE as my most recent half last September was 2:20. SHATTERED it. My coach is worth every penny!! It's so rewarding to finally see my hard work come to fruition. I'm on cloud 9 and drinking wine.
But you want to know what really blows my mind? 9 out of the 13 miles were below (some of them WAY below) my mile repeat pace which is 9:50. CRAZY and counter-intuitive. My coach is worth every penny! btw, he took 2nd overall.