Many good things to report about this race!
1.) I took 1 min. 51 seconds off my post high school PR.
2.) I placed in the top 10 chicas, which I have NEVER done in my entire life for a race over a mile. I was 8th for the women, 4th in my division, and 27th including the guys. There were about 300 participants, I'd estimate.
3.) I beat "Ded Moroz," the 8:00 guy. My average pace was 7:56, and that is not accounting for the slightly long course.
4.) My improvement in time was not because it was a super-easy course. There were several smallish hills and gradual inclines. It was an out-and back course. I asked several people with Garmins what the distance was, and they all said 3.14-3.16. So this is an official old lady PR, people! The footing was excellent, though--mostly paved, and some hard packed dirt. The temps were also ideal. I was MOST appreciative that it ended with a little downhill section.
The only unfortunate thing was that I didn't get one of the beee-yootiful medals they were giving out. The Super-Chicks who came in #1 and #2 overall were both in my age division, and I had high hopes that they wouldn't count them for the age div. awards, but they did. : (
I can't remember much about the details of the actual run. I just kept thinking about keeping up my rhythm. My music really helped--and I had it turned up LOUD! I didn't want to hear the sound of my jagged breathing.
Mentally, I think I handled this race pretty well. There were a couple of times when negative thoughts tried to bog me down. The worst are the thoughts like "you won't be able to hold this pace" or "you are not doing very well", but I just dug in with a strong "YES I CAN!" and "YES I AM!" and they went away. One thing I think I am really gaining from running is the ability to outlast stuff like that. Just refusing to give up and keeping on keeping on through discouraging moments usually yields very good results. I see this in other areas of my life than running, so I am grateful for that.
You guys are going to laugh at my race attire--the FRB singlet and HOT PINK shorts!
This was taken AFTER the race, so I am a little frazzled, but you can see that I was not completely wasted. I didn't look like I needed to go to the hospital, so that is definite improvement!
Overall, I am very pleased that running easy has produced such good results. I train at 10-11:00 pace. Often even slower! (Wonder if Sasha will allow me to go faster now...) And I do zippo speedwork.
My mile splits were pretty consistent 7:45. 8:03, and 7:54. I felt that I could have sustained that pace for at least another mile. Whoops! Gotta go teach some piano lessons. Happy running everyone.