The answer to your question is yes. I am crazy.
I’m not that crazy though. I did not race today, just went out for a run with a few other people all wearing bibs. :) I wanted to get an August race and this was the only one I could find. (They’re understandably hard to come by in August in South Carolina.)
I definitely wanted to race though. It’s a heady feeling running up towards the front of the pack but that’s a feeling for another day. Today I set out just to run with my only goal being to finish under an hour.
We were off just after 7:30 and I settled into a pace that felt fairly easy but not super slow. I also chose to avoid looking at my Garmin so that I wouldn’t know my pace. I like the details but wanted to run based on effort.
Just after the first mile I wondered why on earth I was bothering with this so soon after San Francisco. I should have just run 60 minutes closer to home. Then I remembered my new favorite mantra, “embrace the suck,” slowed my pace just a bit and settled in.
This course was not easy. Downtown Greenville is full of rollers and this course found most, if not all, of them. The hills didn’t feel terrible though. I didn’t push myself to maintain the same pace. Instead I focused on effort and ended up passing more people on the uphills than at any other point in the race.
For some reason, after the halfway point I started thinking of ultramarathons and picturing this race as a “time on my feet” or “race on tired legs” sort of race. It was strangely motivating.
The miles started to tick by and soon I was just over a mile from the finish and still feeling strong. It was about this point that I saw a family from my church volunteering and cheering the runners on. It’s silly but I immediately picked up my pace a bit and tried to smooth out my form. When one of them said “we know this one!” and then cheered, I got a bit of a speed boost. Silly but fun.
After the last hill I knew I had this race in the bag. I knew that this would be a good performance and was really pleased with that.
We entered Cleveland Park and saw the finish line. I had been running a little bit behind another woman contemplating whether I should try to pass her or not. When I crossed the 3 mile marker (there was a 5k with this race as well) I decided to sprint to the finish. I passed her with plenty of time and finished strong.
How’s that for nearly perfect negative splits?
Now it’s back to the training plan. TCM is in 9 short weeks and I’ve got a lot of work to do.
This race was a great way to get back in the mood for hard work.