Monday, October 17, 2011

A Negative Split Convert: Boo! Run for Life 10k

After a September set of 5ks, it was time for the 10k in October.  I had signed up to do the Boo! Run for Like 10k in East Potomac Park.  I was really excited to turn to the 10k, because I do think I have more potential to do well in that distance compared to the 5k.  I was also excited because the weather had finally cooled, and they were calling for 50 degrees for race morning. 
Everything this morning in regard to the metro went well (which hasn't been the case lately pre-race), and I arrived with 40 minutes to spare.  Got in a nice warm-up on the course, which meant that I got to preview both mile 1 and mile 6 on the out and back course.  I have actually run this course several times, as it also hosts the December Jingle All the Way 10k, which I've run 3 times.  But, the weather then has always been a bit raw and this was gorgeous.
I was happy to get a good position in the second row of the starting line.  And when the gun went off, felt great.  Sarah told me to aim for just under sub-7 pace.  I went thorugh the first mile in 6:50 and though I should probably back off.  I was in 5th, and then whoosh, 2 women passed me.  And one of them was wearing a tutu and carrying a wand.  I mean, come on!  I don't want to be passed by a fairy.  But it as too early to get worked up over it - I'll deal with her later, I thought.  Hit mile 2 at 14:00, which meant I had actually slowed to a 7:10 mile.  C'mon, gotta even out this pace.  I was hoping to go sub 43 (current PR was 44:45 from last December at the beginning of ITBS).  At this point, I wasn't sure if that was going to happen.  Even still, I felt really comfortable and knew that I had enough in the tank that I could really move in the second 5k.  I have to say, the course was gorgeous: we ran along the harbor and it was just a very pretty morning.  Things spread out nicely, there was a lot of room, and it was actually pretty quiet as we moved along.  I reached the 5k mark in 21:45 (7:00 pace).  I tried to pick it up, but then I hit mile 4 at 28:00, still being very consistent at that 7:00 mark.  I picked it up a little, and I think I ran 6:57 for mile 5.  At that point, I was bound and determined to pass at least one girl.  I just took off, and I although I wasn't sure how smart it was to "kick" with 1.2 left, but I was going to do it.  Last month, I did 6 x 1 mile average 6:42 pace - this was what I was practicing for!  I just kept going and going, and it finally this one girl (not the tutu one - she must've been clocking 6:40s, which is pretty remarkable) was within 20 yards of me.  It took forever, but I was just behind her at the 6 mile mark.  Thankfully, I was able to pass her comfortably, and felt that she wouldn't be able to react back.  I just kept going and going, and could not believe my eyes when I crossed the finish line:
6:54 pace
Almost a 2 minute PR!
This was fantastic in so many ways, particularly because I ran a negative split!  I ran the second 5k almost 45 seconds faster than the first 5k!  I have never been able to do that - I always positive split, so that was really exciting too.  Overall, I was 6th woman and I won my age group (first time doing that in DC!): 25-29.  Good prize too: $20 and a $10 gift card to Pacers Running Stores.  It was a great race overall, and I was just really pleased with my performance.  I may not have caught the tutu, but it certainly was a great victory in DC.

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