Got to the start at about 7:45 and found my bib and Katherine. It was already pretty warm but I’ve been doing most of my runs in the heat of the day (on purpose) so I wasn’t too worried. Did a 2 mile warmup of the first bit of the course, then headed over the start line. Hysterical start, as no one wanted to be up front so my friend Angie and I were literally on the line. We decided to make fun of ourselves by starting block-style.
My plan was to just relax for the first few miles and aim for a slower version of my tempo pace. I didn’t wear my watch but the first 5 miles felt totally effortless. I was alone pretty quickly save for a gray singlet man who went out too fast. I worked on reeling him back in as he started to fade but got him before the turnaround and spent the rest of the race alone. At about the same time, I started hearing footsteps. Sometimes when you are alone, you can hear phantom footsteps but in this case, I turned around to find a woman about 3 strides back from me rocking headphones and a full iPhone arm set up. No fricken way. I surged a bit to see if she’d follow and she didn’t but I spent the rest of the race trying to keep my ears open.
At the turn, I found out we had a bit of a headwind for the return trip which was a bummer in a race where I was allllll alone. I entertained myself by playing games like “get to the next tree” and “just to the bridge.” Riveting. Once I hit the bridge, I knew we had 2 miles left so I tried to start pushing a little bit. Probably kicked a little soon because I felt fantastic for ~mile 8 but started to tie up a bit right around what I’m guessing was 9. Finished strong and felt totally in control, so the workout/race combo was a success. I’m glad it wasn’t any longer and that it didn’t start any later; it was about 75 when we finished and starting to feel really warm.
Marks an improvement of over a minute since the 15K last month and more importantly a big jump in fitness. This was the sign I was waiting for and a great way to end Phase I.
Pictures below from the beautiful Causeway. I’m so glad it’s back in action after Irene! The Stunt Runner giveaway is still going until Monday night, so get your entry in if you haven’t!