As I mentioned last week, I’ve been training for a 15K (9.3 miles) and today was the day! I woke up pretty early, ate my pre-race breakfast of two slices of whole wheat toast with a conservative amount of peanut butter and sprinkle of flax meal, guzzled some water, and headed down to the Wilmington Riverfront.
I was getting pretty nervous as this race approached since the weather forecast got increasingly worse! It ended up being pretty cold (about 45 degrees), but luckily the rain held off until the very end of the race. (And then it poured!) Also, I did a strength training circuit on Friday morning which made me really, really sore yesterday. (Can you tell I hate the taper??) I ended up stretching for a while last night and, even though I was tight today, it wasn’t too bad. So, all in all, the stage was set for me to break my goal of 75 minutes.
The toughest part was pacing myself as the race started. Somehow, I ended up near the front of the pack, so immediately after the start, I was passed by a flood of people. I had to keep reminding myself to relax and run my own race. I have been training for this, and I knew I needed to keep a steady pace of sub-8 minute miles if I was going to hit my time goal and be able to race strongly at the end.
As soon as mile 1 hit, I glanced at my watch — 7:47. I felt good and knew that’s exactly what I needed to keep up throughout the rest of the race! Miles 4 and 5 both had hills, but beyond that, it was pretty flat.
At the mile 7 marker, I looked down at my watch — 55 minutes! I knew I was going to make my time goal if I just kept going at the pace I had held throughout the race. Mile seven seemed to take forever, but at mile 8, I was at 1:03. Score!
Those last .3 miles seemed to take forever, but I was able to muster up enough speed to finish under my goal. Official time: 1:14:02, 7:56/mile. I was thrilled! (And even took 3rd place in my age group!)
After a post-race snack of oats, chia seeds, vanilla protein powder, almond milk, and PB2, and heading to the noon service at church, I enjoyed a delicious bowl of my homemade vegetable lentil soup and a salad with homemade croutons. Keep an eye out for that vegetable lentil soup recipe coming at you soon! 🙂