Between signing up only 2 weeks before the race, summer triathlon training, and the transition to half marathon training, I hadn't done anything to train specifically for this race. I knew I could do the distance (always the 1st question i ask myself before signing up), but I had no clue how to truly race it.
A few friends offered their suggestions - from "run like the wind" to "run like hell." I can maintain a 7:30 m/m pace on the treadmill, but only for a quarter mile before needing a quarter mile recovery. My 5K pace, however, is in the high 8 range. Somewhere between the 2 lay my goal time, I just couldn't be certain what I am capable of.
After saying hello to a few volunteers/runners I know, I headed to the starting line. The race was point to point and the starting line was 1 mile away from the registration tent/parking area. I took the 1 mile jog to the line as an easy warm up.
Yeah, it was really that dark.
You know its humid when the smell of underarm stank is present at the starting line.
You know you forgot to put on deodorant that morning when you realize its your stank.
The race was broken up into quarter mile increments. I got passed by a lot of people in the first quarter mile, and I worried that I had started too slowly. My pace was in the low 8s, so I felt comfortable I was going quickly enough yet would have plenty in the tank for a good sprint at the end.
By the half mile marker I had already passed a few of those people and felt like I was going strong. I seemed to be maintaining my pace well (although my Garmin later revealed my pace was all over the place). I tried to kick it up another notch but I remember a bit of a hill which caused me to slow down.
At the 0.75 marker, I started sprinting - really picking it up the last tenth of a mile. My Garmin shows my last spurt was a 6:54. Far too fast for someone who was supposed to "run like hell" for a solid mile. No doubt I held too much back at the beginning because I recovered far too quickly from this race.
The Knoxville Paper the next day!
I can't beat myself up too much for it though, given it was my first time racing the distance I have to allow for some margin of error. I'm already looking forward to some speed training and a PR at the distance this time next year!!
Age Group: 2/3