I got to the start line about 45 minutes early and peed twice. The race started about 15 minutes late, so I peed one last time for good measure! It paid off because I didn't have to stop during the race! I saw the GF at mile 1.5 and of course that was my fastest mile of the bunch! When I hit the 5K mark and saw 30:34, I knew I had started out the gates a bit fast my liking, but what the heck, I felt good! By mile 4, my shirt was already halfway soaked. The sun was shining strong and it was forecasted to only get warmer.
As I approached the 10K mark, I still felt really well and when I looked down and saw 1:03:02 my heart started a little jig. I'd never run a 10K in under 1 hour 4 minutes, so I was stoked! My Garmin said I still had yet to run any mile over 11 minutes, so I decided mid run to stay under an 11 minute pace for as long as possible. Miles 7 and 8 appeared faster than I had anticipated, but I kept trucking along. By mile 8, I knew I had a mile and a half left of this uphill climb and I didn't want to give in so I pushed it hard up the mountain side. You could literally see yourself running up this hill and waiting for the landscape to even out indicating that you were over the hill and running downhill now. At mile 10, my Garmin said 1:44:12 and I knew that if I ran a 30 minute 5K I would get my personal best. I also knew that that was never going to happen!
This was when I struggled a bit. Miles 10 and 11 were tough. I just concentrated on leg turnover and somehow managed to get through, but those were over 11 minutes each. Mile 12 was over the Salt River and the clouds started covering the sky, so I think the cool breeze from the river helped me kick in to gear for the last 2 miles. I took the final turn at the 20K mark and saw the GF with about .3 to go! She said I still looked strong toward the finish. I'll believe her just this once because I sure did feel great! I crossed the finish line, looked at my watch, and did a huge fist pump because I had an amazing time! I finished in 2:18:46! That's fast for me!
My goals were simple, beat my last year's time and don't stop running! Check and check! Now I just gotta get faster for next year! Maybe I'll post some pictures of me running soon. I don't take a camera or phone with me while I run, so I don't have as many pics as others! I still have work to do though, because I'm still hitting that wall around miles 9 or 10. Other than running the Vegas half 6 weeks ago, my farthest long run before Sunday was 7 miles. I had two 6 milers, two 5 milers, ten 2 to 4 milers, three speed workouts, I was sick for a week and a half, 14 rest days, and played 6 days of baseball. This doesn't sound like a winning training program. I'll need to revamp my plan and goals and hopefully I'll do even better next time!
Thank you to everyone who wished me well for the race. It helps knowing that people are rooting for you!