I have been a terrible blogger, but I'm going to make a better effort to stay on top of it.
So! This weekend, I ran the Run to Register 10k for the Marine Corps Marathon out in Quantico and had a fantastic time.
My good friend, who I've previously called WB for Work Buddy came into town to do the race with me. We stayed close to Quantico Friday night because the last thing we wanted to do was drive an hour+ from the city down to the base.
We got up early, headed over to base and walked out of the car into cool, crisp air. The base was alive with a bunch of talkative runners, pacing around, warming up. After a last minute bathroom break for me,we lined up under the familiar Marine Corps Marathon arches (my stomach dropped seeing them, remembering my anxiety at the marathon) and off we went.
The course was a simple out and back, down a gently sloping (rises and falls, though nothing too steep). Quantico really is beautiful, we were going down one road that stays along side a lake and a bunch of trees. I felt amazing a few miles in, approaching the halfway (3.1), I felt amazing.
I've noticed that I often times come out of the gate WAY too fast (aka, the Turkey Trot with my brother where I nearly puked all over everyone because I was trying to hold is 7:28 pace....HA). This time, I stayed with my friend, stayed with the crowd, and as it opened up, I slowly let myself adjust to about an 8m/m pace. That's a pretty decent and safe pace for a 5k for me, maybe even fine for 4-5 miles, but to stay with it for 6.2 was going to be a little challenging. But it's amazing what checking your speed at the starting line can do. Conserving energy, I was faster for longer. I saw WB as I started back from the halfway and checked my watch.
I couldn't tell you now what it said, but I remember trying to do math for a couple of minutes, checking and rechecking to make sure I'd calculated it correctly. I couldn't possibly be holding this time, this long...could I?
But I went with it, enjoying the scenary, feeling confident and breezy. I turned the corner to come into the track and checked my watch. In my bad calculations, I had hit 51 minutes and was about to turn possibly beat a 53, which, while I didn't "really" have a goal, I knew I wanted something below an hour and that it was possible I could pull out something under 55. After rounding the bend in the track, I saw the official clock: 49:1something. Two words went through my mind: HOLY SH*T and I booked it. I'd already tried to put on the after burners coming down the hill onto the track but lost it somewhere in the middle. Refiring was really difficult, but I crossed the line in what I swear was some blur of numbers around a 49:3something.
Alas, my official time (which apparently was clock AND chip time...even though I started probably a solid minute after the clock time?) was 50.00.00. A new 10K PR. Some smooth even numbers there, my friends.
I felt officially accomplished and spent the rest of the day, stuffing my face with Mexican food with WB (who also ran a solid race, crushing his PR by 15 minutes--major props to him!) and spending time with Chadd.
Here we are, WB and I, post race:
Best part of the race? When we finished, we were handed a card with an access code on it for a guaranteed entry to the Marine Corps Marathon this year--the 35th. I ran the 31st in 2006 with a 4:22:34...and am looking to crush the 4 hour mark this year, which is just a little over a 9 minute mile. I'd be in line for a 3:45 if I held a solid 8:30. We'll see how training goes!
I've got a weekend off, then the Cherry Blossom 10 mile! If I can hold an 8:15 pace, I'll be thrilled, an 8:30, pretty happy, and anything lower, acceptable.
A little shout out to all of you--thank you so much for the gchat messages/emails/facebook messages, etc. letting me know you read the blog and your congrats on my race--y'all are the best and you give me warm fuzzies.
Coming up this afternoon: Abs/Core Arsenal--a few moves for beginners to experts to pay some special attention to your core!