Another 10 for Texas in the books and it feels great! Last year's race was kind of a nightmare. I totally hit a wall and thought I was going to die by mile 7. I vowed to redeem myself. I came into the race with a few goals. My "Pie in a Sky Goal" of 1:25:00 (8:30 pace), my "definitely could do if I kept my head on straight" A goal 1:32:00, and my most important B goal of finishing with good form and in a good place mentally.
I hardly could sleep last night. After a fitful night, I woke up at 5:30 for good and ate a bowl of oatmeal and a fruit smoothie. I brought along a bottle of gatorade which I finished before the race. Last year, a major problem was I was so dehydrated before mile 4 that I could barely move. I wasn't going to make that mistake again. I also brought along a couple of gu's. Last year I only brought one and it wasn't enough, or I took it too late. See, I'm learning!
I lined up at the start halfway between the 9 min mile sign and the 10 min mile sign. Sidenote: Please line up where you think you will finish not in the place "If I actually trained I might finish at this pace". Seriously. For long races you need to train. Here's a hint, If you are breathing hard in mile 1 of a 10 miler you're playing with the wrong crowd. I must've passed a couple hundred people in this already crowded section AND I was not going faster than I planned on for this mile.
The race was awesome. The only issue was sometimes the volunteers weren't ready with water at the water stops, they were all holding gatorade. There were lots of spectators this year. I think in part because it was an out and back so people didn't have to travel the city to cheer on their friends. So even if there weren't really that many, it felt like a lot because I saw all of them twice!
I took my salted caramel gu's at mile 3.5 and 6.5. I never felt depleted the whole race. When I started getting tired, I focused on the mile I was in and getting to the next. I was most proud at the finish because I never broke form. I never kicked myself mentally. Only happy thoughts. I am notorious for focusing on the bad in any training run/race. I made it a point to practice happy thoughts this training season and it worked.
Mile nine was my fastest mile at 7:37. I wasn't even breathing hard! My legs felt strong at the finish. Maybe I should've gone faster! Yes. I should've kicked my pace up before this point, but I was afraid to hit a wall.
There was a girl finishing about the same time as me and I knew I couldn't let her pass me. We raced to the line and I finished one second ahead of her! Yeah! Go me! I came in 30th pace in my age group with a time of 1:26:29. Not only did I beat my true A goal by almost 6 minutes, but I almost made my Pie in a Sky goal. I have no doubt that if my hip hadn't bugged me all 12 weeks of training I would've killed that goal as well. Oh, well. That's for next year.
Official time of 1:26:29
Yup. Nailed it! :) But as you all know, good is never good enough. I can't wait to prove myself at The Woodlands Half Marathon this Spring. Hopefully my hip will heal during my time off this month and I can finish proudly!