Yesterday, I headed down to Cape Elizabeth with the trackies to run the Beach to Beacon 10k. I was feeling extremely lucky to be a part of this year's edition, as it sold out in 4 minutes, but at the same time, I was a bit tentative as it was only 7 days out from GCI. I had done two 4 mile recovery runs on Tuesday/Thursday this week and both went well after my body warmed up a mile in. So after some internal debate about giving my bib up, I decided to just see how the legs felt on race day and do whatever pace they felt like doing, knowing that the hills is the last mile might prove a challenge for me as they did last year when I ran this race two weeks out from GCI.
|Track Club members at the start!|
Alice, Audrey and I started just a bit back from the 7:00 minute/mile pace group - a time I felt would be pretty ambitious on legs that just ran a marathon. Based on my last half marathon pace (7:26ish at Rail Trail) and 5k pace (6:42) I knew I could reasonably shoot for 7:15's on this race on fresh legs, so I figured I'd start off at that pace and see what happens.
We got to the start mats a minute after the gun went off and Audrey, who is a mastered Jedi knight at race start weaving, was out of sight in the crowd in a flash. Luckily, I had a clear path for the first mile and for the first time in five years of running this race no one stopped dead in front of me within the first mile. The cool thing about running marathons, is that when you do shorter races, the miles really seem to go by fast.
Mile 1 - 7:15 - perfect, feeling strong, a little scared of what the last mile will feel like if I keep it up, but let's test the waters. Never judge a race by the first mile.
Mile 2 - 7:19 - still feeling strong
Mile 3 - 7:06 - the first of the rolling hills. If there is anything I am in shape for right now its rolling hills (right Alice and Audrey? - thank you College Road!) The little hills were a good change up for the legs, the lungs seemed to strain at the top, but quickly recovered..
Mile 4 - 7:15 and Mile 5 - 7:14 - I could not believe I was still keeping the pace here. Occasionally I would feel myself losing energy, and then a new wind would kick in. This "multiple winds" sensation is new...usually I'm good for a second wind and that's it.
Mile 6 - 7:47 - I told myself going into this mile..."this is it...these are the hills...shoot for an 8 min/mile..just keep moving." This is where I knew my legs would be pissed about racing so soon to marathoning. I was running next to a woman this whole mile, and we started encouraging each other and joking about the hills, which really made me forget about my legs. After the first hill of this mile, there is a great view of the runners in front of you. It had cleared out a bit, so I took the chance to see if I could spot Aud in front of me. I couldn't find her, and knew she was smoking her goal for the day!
.2 - 6:31 pace - When I hit the (extremely long chute), I knew this was a PR. I soaked up the moment and enjoyed...and, for the first time in my 5 years running this race, crossed the line and was coherent enough to shake Joanie's hand and thank her for an awesome race.
Final time - 45:35!!! A one minute, 34 second PR! Yahoo!
|Mile 5 hills!|
|Trackies at the end. Genuine smiles all around!|
|Alice and I met up with Sarah at the end to run back to the cars (an extra 2.85 miles). We are BADASS crow chicks...B2B plus extra miles today, GCI last week. CAW!|