On the morning of the 2010 GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler, I had set my alarm for 5:30, but woke up at 5:00. When I checked Twitter before getting out of bed, I saw a Finish line preview” pictures from the Pacers Twitter account. That got me up!
My lower back was a bit stiff, and I decided that I had just enough time to do the Forward Bends program of my Rodney Yee A.M. Yoga For Your Week DVD. I fixed myself a protein shake, and did my best to get the most out of that program. When I finished, I felt much better, started the coffee maker, and fixed myself toast with peanut butter and 1/2 banana for breakfast. Between that and the protein shake, I felt well-fueled.
My friend got here before 7:0o, and I had my husband take a picture of us before he drove us to the start line.
(I’m on the right in purple.)
We got there by 7:30, did the potty line “just in case,” checked our bags, and lined up.
I didn’t do much of a warm up at the start–usually I run for a few minutes at least– because my Garmin had frozen, and I thought it was earlier than it was. Luckily I noticed that it was stuck in time to reset it before the race started.
The weather was perfect in my book – low 50s and overcast! Even then, I was glad to catch a breeze once in a while along the race course. I just get so warm when I run.
I lined up near the front, at the front of the 8:00 mile pace group, because it was easy to get to that spot from a break in the corral fences. For some reason runners were not squished up at the front as usual, and there was plenty of room. The race went off promptly at 8:00 and I did not get elbowed or squeezed to the side as I have in years past!
The first mile is mostly downhill, and when I reached it at 8:24 I knew the “Virtual Partner” on my Garmin would be useless, since I’d set it for a 9:00 min/mile pace. I kept missing the mile splits on my Garmin and forgot to “do the math” on the race clocks, so I didn’t know what pace I was keeping on a mile-for-mile basis. Still, after seeing instant pace reads in the 8:30-8:45 range over a few miles, I mentally re-set my goal to an 8:45 pace.
The race course borders neighborhoods, and families come out to cheer people on–there were lots of “Run, Mom, Run!” signs! I saw one family I knew at about mile 2+ and another family I knew was cheering for me at about mile 5.
You can tell that I was really glad to see them! Honestly, I found everyone’s cheers encouraging, even if they weren’t cheering for me in particular, and it was especially nice to have support along the few steep hills.
Miles 5-8 of the course are downhill and flat, so I knew it was time to “relax” (on the long down hill) and pace myself (on the flat miles). At about mile 7, the plantar fascitis in my left foot started talking to me –not whispering, not yelling– so I held back a bit for that reason too. It never got worse, and probably was quiet again after mile 8. Phew!
Once we got to Old Town, I kicked my pace up a tiny bit, but was saving myself for the short but steep hill at mile 9. I powered up that hill, enjoyed the downhill side, and held strong but not too fast for the next stretch. I waited until I had about 1/3 mile to go and then went into all out sprint mode. I really don’t know where that came from – I felt possessed! That last mile was actually my fastest at 8:03, include a bit on that hill!
When I crossed the finish line at well under 1:30, I was thrilled!
Split times = 8:24, 8:28, 8:35, 8:41, 8:45, 8:32, 8:40, 8:43, 8:42, 8:03
I felt great. It was a great race. I am thrilled with my training and my performance.
I’m not sure if my time was a PR–I will have to check my notes from previous years. I know I beat last year’s time by a few minutes, but last year was a come-back year when I had to “under-train” because of plantar fascitis issues.
I am going to rest on my laurels this week, and then it’s on to training for the Zooma Annapolis Half Marathon in June! 🙂