Meghann’s Lesson of the Day: Controlling your speed in the beginning of a race equals a stronger and faster finish. FACT.
Oh wait, I DID know. At least my brain knew, my legs were a whole other story. After years of burning out early in races, I decided enough was enough. My first mile always rocks, but feeling like I was going to die at the end of it was not a way to run a race nor was the +1 splits I had been experiencing.
Today was the day I was going to run a race the ‘proper way’ by controlling my speed through out and NOT giving it my all right off the bat. Today was the day I was not going to worry about my finish time and instead worry about how I felt. Today was the day I was going to finish strong!
And you know what? I did it all!
Derek and I were up super early this morning to make the 45 minute drive to the space center. I had a Cookie Dough Cookie (cookies make the best pre-race fuel ), a couple of dried peaches, and grabbed a large mug of tea for the road.
We met my little brother half way and the three of us drove arrived at the space center in plenty of time to pick up our packets and take a look around.
This was the inaugural run for the Saturn 5k and it had a relatively small turn out of about 200 or so runners. This is typical for races in that area and considering how far of a drive the space center is from anything, I thought that was a pretty good turn out.
The gun went off just after 7:40 and thanks to the small crowds, I had no problem instantly getting into my groove.
I decided early on I would not be going all out for this race. I have a history of starting out too fast and burning out before the half way point. My goal was to practice keeping a consistent pace and enjoy the run. I fell into what I considered a comfortable pace at 7:30 and stuck at it for 3.1 miles.
The course itself was a bit of a yawn. It basically zig zagged around the visitor complex parking lot for 2.5 of the 3.1 miles. There was no fan support and without my headphones I’m pretty sure I would had been bored out of my mind. I just zoned into my music and concentrated on the race.
Just past the halfway mark I realized my goal of staying consistent was paying off. My body felt great, I still had plenty of energy to make it to the finish, and mentally I was still there. Sure my competitive edge had kicked in when people were passing me in the beginning, but as they started to slow and I remained consistent, I knew I had made the smarter decision.
In the last half mile of the race we left the parking lot and were actually able to run through the park part of the visitor’s complex. Running through the rocket garden was pretty cool, but way too short.
When I reached the 3rd mile marker I checked my Garmin and realized I was in the 22 minute range. Holy crap? So this keeping consistent thing really does pay off!
I gunned the last .1 mile and clocked a time of 23:39!
I finished just 21 seconds shy of my 5k PR (23:18) and felt like I still had more to give. I know if I had pushed it a tad harder in the last half mile that I could have easily PRed no problem.
- Mile 1: 7:14
- Mile 2: 7:37
- Mile 3: 7:49
- .1 nubbin: 00:59 (pace 7:09)
Avg Pace: 7:32
I wasn’t the only one that had a great race either!
Ben came in just before 25:00 minutes ( a full minute PR)
And Derek came just shy of 27:00 Also, a full minute PR!)
We’re waiting for official results. I’ll update the times when they come in.
We all headed to Cracker Barrel for a post-race celebratory breakfast.
I ordered the Wholesome Morning Sampler that included Yogurt, Pineapple, Granola, and a Cranberry Muffin.
And a side of eggs and bacon.
I polished everything off minus 3/4 of the muffin. (It was huge and will make an excellent breakfast addition tomorrow morning).
Nothing like starting a weekend off right with a killer race!
The rest of this weekend will be a breeze. Right?