AM: 4 miles on Pre's Trail in Eugene. Slight change of plans for this weekend. I went to sign up for the 10,000m @ Willamatte University last night and realized that I'd missed the entry deadline by 4 hours. Woops. I called the coach and left a voicemail asking if I could still enter. I haven't heard back from him. There is another collegiate track meet this weekend @ Linfield University (about 1 hour SW of Portland). They run the 10k tonight at 8pm under the lights. It was also closed but after calling the coach and explaining the situation, he agreed to let me run. A farther drive for me but it could work out better. This field is much deeper with athletes from University of Portland (excellent xc program), Bowerman Athletic Club, Team XO, etc. Total field size for the men's 10k? 32. Hopefully I'm not the 32nd slowest runner there!
PM: I'm on cloud 9. So happy that it's going to be hard to sleep. Just ran a 53 second PR in the 10k at Linfield College in McMinnville, OR. I'll try and keep this brief... The hardest part was knowing how/what to eat for a 8 PM race. I ate a big-ish lunch and then half a bagel, yogurt and banana as a late afternoon snack. Stomach felt fine going into the race. Got to the college and ran 4.8 miles (why 4.8? cause I like round numbers for my daily total. haha) and then stretched for the final 10 minutes before the start. There were 30+ runners and I wasn't sure what was going to happen. My goal was to run each lap at 77 seconds which would set a PR and I'd be happy enough. I feel like I'm in good shape but when it comes right down to it, you just never know.
Laps/Miles were as follows
1st mile (1:15, 1:17, 1:17, 1:17 = 5:07) I was a little anxious that first lap, but that's normal. By the second lap I was soon in no-mans land. There were 9 guys in front of me and by the 4th lap, they had 50 meters on me. As for the rest of the field? 50 meters behind me. Seriously, I was running by myself for the first 3 miles. So it goes.
2nd mile (1:16, 1:17, 1:17, 1:17 = 5:08, 10:15 total) Perfect. Right where I want to be. The breeze is a little stronger than I would have liked on the homestretch, but it was manageable. The slight drizzle let up and from this point on, the weather was perfect.
3rd mile (1:17, 1:16, 1:16, 1:16 = 5:06, 15:21 total) More perfect. The pace feels fine and I don't feel bad anywhere. Starting to lap the slower runners. Come through the 5k in 15:59. Just do that once more and I'm getting a PR by 30 seconds.
4th mile (1:16, 1:16, 1:17, 1:16 = 5:06, 20:27 total) Right were I want to be. Still in 10th place overall but all I care about is the even pacing that I keep hitting on each lap.
5th mile (1:16, 1:16, 1:16, 1:15 = 5:04, 25:31 total) Throughout the whole race, I'm getting my splits at each lap but not bothering to look at them. I can tell it's going well but not sure how well. A couple of the runners from the lead pack dropped out for what looked like injuries--bummer for them. I pass one guy as well so I'm now running in 7th place or so...
6th mile (1:14, 1:14, 1:14, 1:12 = 4:54, 30:26 total) I start me 'kick' with 5 laps to go. Not really a kick, but I'm confident that I can pick up the pace and not suffer as a result. It's an AMAZING feeling to be able to ask your body to go just a bit faster....and then to have it respond. I can't describe it, but it's then that you know your miles and miles and MILES of training are paying off.
Final lap (1:07 = 4:28 pace = Finish in 31:34) I pass two guys on the final lap and feel fantastic. I absolutely wish I would have picked up the pace with 2 miles to go. That's my only regret. I pushed the pace but I think I can push even harder. I love it. I LOVE IT! I couldn't stop smiling for the next 2 hours.
First 5K = 15:59. Second 5K = 15:35. Ran a 24 second negative split and PR'd in the 5k as well!
I ran one mile on the track and then another mile barefoot on the infield for a cool down. Now it's time for sleep before a few miles in the morning and then a long drive home. But the drive will be worth it. :)