|A beautiful view, perfect running weather, friendly Brits, what's not to love?|
My running so far in 2019 had been minimal in volume (15ish miles per week average), but, in less than 3 weeks, despite the travel, I'd gotten in 3 solid speed/strength workouts (including last week's cooper test), plus 2 sets of strap/stretching/rehab and 3 core/yoga workouts. So, I was feeling optimistic.
My A goal was to finish sub 9:30 min/mile. My B goal was to beat my decade PR 5K pace (anything sub 9:34/mile average). My C goal was a course PR (anything sub 29:56).
I headed out for the first mile with the group and had to rein myself in, mentally repeating "easy, full of joy" while letting lots of folks (including a girl who must have been younger than 10) pass me. Even with the effort to avoid the early excitement, E & I hit the 1 mile mark at 9:11. I felt good, so tried to ignore the concerned internal voice that worried I may have gone out too fast (spoiler -- I probably did).
About halfway through mile 2, it started to feel harder, but not too hard to keep it at 9:30/mile (which had been my goal pace for the whole race) so I just kept checking in with my watch every few minutes and did my best to keep that mile's pace on track. This portion of the race had significant puddles and mud which slowed everyone down, but I managed to speed up once we were back on pavement and crossed mile 2 with a 9:31 split.
I definitely struggled through mile 3, and several people passed me. About halfway through the mile, I looked down to see a pace of 9:55/mile and, despite my perceived effort being high, did my best to push for a while, only to look down and see 9:50 -- clearly, I was not making up the time nearly fast enough. I hit mile 3 with a 9:48 split.
I found a little extra energy to push for 9:21/mile pace for the last tenth of a mile, but I must have been passed by 5 people in that time.
I finished, high-fived E (who'd ditched me around the halfway point per his usual), and turned to congratulate D, who'd surprised me by being so close to my finish, as she'd estimated finishing 3+ minutes slower.
I looked at my watch and learned that I'd missed my A goal, but met my B goal. JUST BARELY. My average pace was 9:33/mile. 1 second per mile improvement. I was happy. But also, just barely.
Once back at the hotel, I uploaded my garmin data and realized I'd hit the lap button at the finish and then the stop button about 9 seconds later.
I DID MEET MY A GOAL!
29:31. Good enough for 9:29/mile. Oh my goodness! I was so much happier once I realized my error. What a difference 9 seconds can make. Of course, my actual performance hadn't changed at all. Just my perception of it. I knew I'd pushed hard. I should have been proud, regardless. And yet, that verifiable data of positive improvement and reaching my goal made all the difference in the world.
|I was rewarded with burnt-off fog for a gorgeous celebratory brunch on the embarcadero.|