I went into Saturday's 10K with three progressive goals:
1. To finish in under an hour
2. To run as fast as I ran in my awesome practice run last Monday (57:28)
3. To beat my practice run (I considered this a long shot since the practice run was my best run ever and I wasn't really feeling 100% thanks to sinus issues and rain)
The race started out with the giant Gilbert Hill. I hate that hill, but I've run it a few times already, thanks to the training group. I knew that if I could just pace myself and keep it slow and steady up that hill, then the rest of the race would be simple. I tucked in with the 9:15/mile pace group, the gun sounded, and we were off. The hill was every bit as crappy as I expected it to be, and we ran that first mile in 9:21. Made it up to the top, completed the turnaround, and then proceeded to have the best 5.3 mile run ever, finishing with an average pace of 8:38/mile.
I finished the race in 54:28. I smashed all three of my goals, and beat my practice run by a whole three minutes. My time was good enough to place me 17th in my age group. Granted, it was a very small race, so it was 17 out of 116, but still kind of neat to exceed my own expectations. (I was 59th out of 387 women, overall)
The really cool thing is that I feel like I could have gone even faster. I can't wait for the next one.
My running buddy is suffering with shin splints, but she still showed and ran a great race. Now that's some dedication! It was really nice to cheer each other on when we passed on the hill. We're already planning out our next 10K, but first I have to make it through the Half Marathon in 14 days!