I forgot to mention I was running a 10k this weekend. I had planned on running a long time ago, and then I decided against it. And then after my mom every so gently (or maybe forcefully) reminded me that I needed to beat her this year, I officially signed up.
Right after Chet was born, before I even ran 1 mile postpartum, I remember sitting on my couch making my bucket list of races for 2012. Sub one hour at the Wicked 10k was something I really wanted to work towards. Since mileage is my first love, getting faster took a back seat to increasing my mileage over the summer months. When I finally signed up for this race, I started to wonder. Could I break an hour? A 59:59 10k equals a 9:40 minute mile. Yes. I’ve run 9s. But I’ve never run that fast for 6.2 miles.
Having just run my fastest 10k post-baby during the Crawlin Crab half, I started to wonder if it would be possible. I ran the last 6.2 miles of the Crawlin Crab 1:02:41. Race Calculators predicted I could run 1:01 something based on my half marathon time.
As I approached race day, I set my goals.
- Best case scenario: Sub 1 hour (faster than a 9:40 pace) with my final mile in the 8s
- Plan B: 9:xx pace with negative splits
- Plan C: I’d be disappointed if I saw a time slower than the 1:02 I ran during the half marathon.
Race day morning arrived, and I lined up with my friend Carrie who also had the goal of breaking one hour. We wanted to run fast. As soon as our corral started, my excitement got the best of me. I forgot to start my garmin until about a half mile into the run. The race started fast. My motto for the race was go big or bust. A fast start would make me go big, so I held on.
Mile 1 (via my garmin): 9:34
Hang on. Hang on. Hang on. I was starting perfect for a sub 1 hour race. I just had to hold on. Carrie and I loosely made the plan to run together, but either one of us could pull away if we felt more in our legs. We wanted to run at a conversation pace until mile 2 and then we would pick up the pace.
Mile 2 (via my garmin): 9:05
And I was still talking. It hit me. I was going to run under one hour. Tears found me, but I quickly let them go. I had to run. Since I started my garmin late, I knew we had just under 4 miles to go. The next few miles were heading north straight into the wind being stirred up from Hurricane Sandy. I expected my miles to slow down a bit because of the wind, but I knew I could hold on to a 9:40 pace.
Mile 3 (via my garmin): 8:46
Well maybe the wind was working in my favor. It was making me push harder, and my miles were getting faster.
Mile 4 (via my garmin): 8:47
Holy crap. I was really going to break an hour. The miles were getting tough. I told Carrie to go on a few times, but every time she started to pull away I managed to keep up. This week has been a very hard week for our family. We have two close family members fighting cancer, and it has been a whirlwind of emotions and scenarios this week. I knew going into the run that when I thought the next mile was going to be tough, I could fight through it. It was a mile. It was simply running. In comparison to the real world, a hard mile is nothing. So I held on. And I pushed harder.
Mile 5: 8:57
At this point, I told Carrie to go on and she did. As she kept running I promised her I wasn’t falling far behind. I was keeping her in my sight. Ever muscle in my legs wanted to walk, but there was no way I was walking. I was beating the clock. I was pushing hard because running a hard mile is nothing compared to real life.
Final .68 (via my garmin): 8:52 pace
Get to the finish line. Get to the finish line. Get to the finish line. I could see Carrie up ahead of me. I let her pull me. I could see the finish line. I let that pull me. I did not just run fast for nearly 6 miles to quit now.
Garmin Finish: 5.68 miles. 51:18
When I ran under the finish line, the race clock said 1:01:20. I had started in corral 4. Assuming there was at least 30 seconds between corral starts, I felt pretty confident that I broke one hour. In my head, I optimistically thought I ran 58 something, but knew I’d see 59 something.
Carrie and I went to watch my mom finish the race too. I beat her this year, but she beat her time from last year by 5 minutes. Seeing her cross the finish line RUNNING was even better than crossing the finish line myself. I then ran the Monster Mile with Cole. (More on both of these in my next post.)
And I waited. and waited. and waited. for the official results to post. I went home. I showered. and I waited some more. Finally, after lunch, I got a text from Carrie. Results were posted. As I typed my name into the computer, I hoped and hoped for a 58 but knew I’d see a 59.
Official results: 56:31 (9:07 pace)
(Carrie’s results: 56:07)
I’m still in shock 24 hours later. I can not believe I did that. I’m still digesting it. I know I haven’t tapped into my full running potential yet, but yesterday was a taste of what I’m capable of achieving. My best case scenario was 59:59. I crushed that time. I had desperately hoped I’d see an eight something mile for my last mile. My last 4 miles were in the 8s.
I think it’s time to I stop underestimating myself. These legs of mine love to run. Every inch of me loves ever single time I put on my running shoes. Physically I like pushing. Mentally I like pushing. I’m slowly learning that I can push a whole lot hard than I think.