Two PRs while I wasn’t looking

Saturday I traveled down I-5 to Olympia for this year’s Lakefair Run. I should say “Sunny Olympia”, surprised as I was to see a bright, calm morning for the race. Don’t you just love those events where everything seems to just fall into place ? How often do we get a race day when all the preparation just goes…. well… “so well” ?

As I said before, the weather which had been so wet and windy during the previous days was sunny, cool and calm. I arrived downtown and immediately found a great parking spot (I was already ahead of schedule). Then I picked up my bib number just when there was a lull in the crowd at the main event stage. As I was ending my second short warm-up run I noticed the free massage peoples’ tables were empty… 6 minutes to go and I got a great warm-up/loosen up session. A quick jog to the start line so “late” meant I was basically at the front of the pack… minimum wait time and we were off.

As much as I tell myself to go out slowly, I had to really pull myself back – foolishly doing the first quarter mile at 6:40 pace. Mile 1 and 2 I worked to stay at a 7:30 pace (did 7:30 and 7:28). Mile 3 included the turn-around and pretty much went to plan with a 7:09 pace. I picked it up some more on mile 4 (with a nice, slight downhill along the lake for a time) and still felt strong after a 7:02. The final mile was flat and the course was pretty empty by then, so decided to see if I could pick it up a bit more. It helped that I was being pushed by a another runner for the last 1/4 mile or so… we both helped each other and I was happy to have a 6:44 for the final mile.

After last week’s Corn days 5K I hadn’t anticipated being capable of a quick run in an 8K, but I clocked a total time of 35:53 (and felt I could have probably been 15 or 20 seconds faster). The main thing I wanted to explore was my capability to run the race with a series of negative splits. It was very satisfying to be able to achieve that this weekend.

It was an even more pleasant surprise to discover this morning that my last 2 events have been my fastest PRs at those distances – The Corn Days 5K being the best pace overall ! I know I’m fitter and better trained these days, but on both days I also made a real effort to consistently maintain the good running form we have been working on at The Balanced Athlete with Eric Sach.

Well, back to training for a different type of race… the Denver Marathon in October…

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~ by John Rankin on Jul 23, 2007.

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