The crazy race schedule is going great! The Franklin Classic 10K was a very interesting race for me---after a 9:38 first mile, my Garmin died and I had to run blind for the first time in years. I had been all over the place pace-wise in the first mile, so I wasn't sure if I was going too fast or too slow at any given moment. I just tried to judge it by discomfort---moderately uncomfortable is where you want to be at any given moment in a 10K. I finished just 20 seconds off from my PR. My time was around a 9:34 mile average. I think my time was 58:42 or so. It poured rain during most of the race, too, adding to the memorableness (is that even a word?? memorability??) of the race. The best part was my bestie from high school had hosted me and the kids the night before at her house and even got up at 5:00 a.m. to drive me to the race! She was there to see me finish and everything. Her hubby stayed home with my kids and hers and cooked us all a delicious breakfast.
Then about 3 weeks later, I had my big GOAL RACE-- the Music City Half Marathon. I'd PR'd in that race 2 years ago with a 2:09:42 official time, but the course was 13.22. This time, I PR'd again by over 2 minutes with a 2:07:09! I stopped my watch at 13.1 though and I was at 2:05:52! Either way, it was a big PR! A 2:05 averaged to a 9:36 pace and a 2:07 averaged to a 9:45. I had planned to start out with 9:45 to 10 minute miles, but 9:30 just felt so darn comfortable, I wound up staying there--- most miles between 9:30 and 9:40. I did have a 9:26 and two 9:50's when I was hurting. Apparently, I was trained up for a strong 10-miler. After mile 10, I started hurting quite a bit. My lower body hurt badly in miles 11 and 12---the 9:50 miles. In mile 13, I just gritted my teeth and ran through the pain---back down to a 9:41 pace.
But you know what, a RACE is SUPPOSED to hurt. It's supposed to be uncomfortable. You are supposed to push hard and hang on when the going gets tough. This may be the first time I actually RACED a half marathon. And for the first time in 11 half marathons, I ran every single step. Didn't walk through water stops, didn't stop at the port o john. That was another PR--the furthest uninterrupted stretch I'd run before was 8 or 9 miles. It was a really good day.
Two days after the race, I started at a new Crossfit gym in town. That was a mistake. My muscles were still raw from the race and the first day's workout was a killer. I was in pain for the rest of the week and did very little running and no Crossfit. (www.crossfitsolafide.com) But I went back to Crossfit yesterday and today, and officially joined. I decided to go only two days per week to supplement my running.
Next up: The Go Commando Half Marathon with my husband on Saturday. I hope he has a better experience than last time. He has no nagging injuries, but his training has fallen off a lot the last 3 weeks. Can a guy who runs 1-2 times per week most weeks and sometimes none at all for a full week run a strong race? Guess we'll see. I'm going to stay with him throughout. I think we'll come in under 2:30. I hope we'll stay between 10:30 and 11 minute miles.