Over the last couple of months, I have become good friends with a few people in the running group that I am a part of on Facebook. While we have hung out a few times and gotten together for trail running, we haven’t been able to run a race together yet. This weekend we remedied that situation by running the inaugural Kensington Marathon 10k together.
Other than being excited to run with my friends, I wasn’t feeling too positive about the race. The course looked pretty hilly, it was humid, and I was still recovering from celebrating my birthday on Friday. Plus, my pace had been pretty lame lately, and my last 10k was pretty slow. I’m not very competitive with myself or anyone else, though, so I just thought… yup, whatever happens, happens! I hoped that I would be able to beat my last 10k time, but all I really cared about was finishing and having a great time with my friends.
I started off the race trying to keep up with the girls that I was running with. I realized pretty quickly that I wasn’t going to be able to keep up, and when I saw my mile time, I knew why. I have been running somewhere between an 11:30-12:00 minute pace per mile, and my last 10k I ran at a 12:30+ pace. My first mile was sub 11 minutes. The first couple of miles of the course weren’t too terrible as far as hills were concerned. A little bit after the second mile, I saw our fearless group leader Matt, kicking butt and taking names. I gave him a “rock on” and continued on.
The course was somewhat odd. It took us to a turnaround a little after two miles, we passed the start, and then we continued to a second turnaround. That was absolutely the most brutal part of the course. Past the start line to the second turnaround was all a gradual uphill with some fun spikes along the way. I saw the girls again after they made the second turnaround and I shouted, “Please tell me I’m almost done with these hills!” I saw the 10k turnaround and sighed in sweet relief – it was quite literally all downhill from there!
I hit that downhill hard as I looked at my watch and saw my time. My mile splits were pretty ridiculous… 1st mile 10:53, second mile 11:41, 3rd mile 12:06, 4th mile 12:40, 5th mile 12:02, and 6th mile 12:20. And then I kicked it into gear… I had the downhill momentum, I knew my friends were waiting for me at the finish line, and it was a beautiful course. I ran hard and kept telling myself not to stop, keep it up, push harder! I saw that finish line approaching and glanced down at my watch. I heard my friends cheering me on! I crossed the finish line and stopped my watch.
This girl struggle bused her way to a PR!!! :)
I rocked out a sub 9 minute pace for my last 0.25 miles. When I was done I was exhausted, but it was so cool to be greeted by my running friends! I really have missed running with people and I am so looking forward to many more races. Especially since we seem to motivate each other to be the best that we can be – all of us PR’d the race, and Matt took 2nd place overall and 1st place male! Couldn’t be more proud of myself and my friends!
And since that race marked the end of another month, I thought I’d update y’all on my “Banking the Miles” challenge:
- January 2015: 17.48 miles / January 2016: 55.13 miles
- February 2015: 18.09 miles / February 2016: 45.57 miles
- March 2015: 19.08 miles / March 2016: 41.39 miles
- April 2015: 10.51 miles / April 2016: 61.39 miles
- May 2015: 33.52 miles / May 2016: 57.14 miles
- June 2015: 51.10 miles / June 2016: 51.5 miles
- July 2015: 43.91 miles / July 2016: 52.08 miles
- August 2015: 60.8 miles
- September 2015: 44.29 miles
- October 2015: 19.15 miles
- November 2015: 36.98 miles
- December 2015: 41.59 miles
- TOTAL 2015: 416 miles / TOTAL 2016: 364 miles so far…