I won't bury the lead on this one: I got a PR!! A solid one too and one I wasn't expecting. One New Year's Goal down! Woo-hoo!!!
Going into the race, I figured that I could get near my previous PR of 30:30 (9:50 pace) but not meet it. I was guessing around a 10:00 pace. Since all my training has been geared towards the half-marathon and I have almost completely neglected speed work I really was running this just for fun with no expectations. The day before I had a great 8 miler at a really strong pace so I also figured that would make my legs a little fatigued for race day. I guess my training has been paying off after all because I didn't even notice.
There was a good crowd at Greenlake on a sunny Sunday morning. There were many more people than I expected for an inagural race. Kevin and I met up with Amber and Mike pre-race and then got in our respective pace groups with Kevin on the side to act as race photographer while the three of us ran. Since the course is where I began running seven years ago I know it very well. I have logged countless miles walking and running around the lake. I could run it in the dark. Heck, I have ran it in the dark a lot actually. It is flat, fast and the place where my best training runs take place so that all was working in my favor too.
The first mile was crammed with people at the beginning and I found myself more annoyed than usual at having to bob and weave around people to find my pace and get in my groove. At the first mile split I realized that there was a good chance I could PR today. By mile two I knew I pretty much had it in the bag. Mile three felt like I was slowing down quite a bit and I could feel myself getting pretty exhausted. Also, my self-diagnosed exercise induced asthma (thank you internet!) started kicking in and I was coughing quite a bit. Usually the coughing only happens after a run so this was a new and unwelcome development. On the plus side it wasn't the "oh my God, I'm going to hack up a lung" kind of cough so that was good. Clearly it didn't affect me much.
Here are the splits:
Mile 1 9:45
Mile 2 9:13
Mile 3 9:09
The official results were a time of 29:14 which was a 9:26 pace. This was a time PR of 1:16 and 24 seconds off my per mile pace. I could not have been happier with these results. I figured my PR would fall sometime this year but I didn't think it would be this soon.