Am I feeling too good after the race?
Over 10,000 runners entered the Des Moines marathon, half marathon or 5k, and most of them ran it yesterday. Some runners are ecstatic because they finished their first long race or set a new personal record. Some are sad because they didn’t finish the race or ran poorly. Finally, and I would venture to say, most runners had fun, are okay with their time but have a few nagging thoughts that are still bothering them today.
I have been in all three groups in my race-running life. I was ecstatic when I started the very hot 1998 Quad Cities marathon at a snail’s pace but ran the last few miles very fast to set my all-time marathon personal record. I was sad when I had to drop out of the 2009 Des Moines marathon because my hamstring felt like it would tear if I took one more step.
But I have been in the third group after most of my races and that includes yesterday. I wanted to run a smart race which meant start slow and get faster. I didn’t want to repeat last year’s mistake of running the first mile in 8 minutes and watch runners pass me every mile after that – it’s so depressing. My time was good but I felt horrible for most of the race.
No, I didn’t do that again. In fact, I started so far back in the pack of runners that it took over 5 minutes to get to the start. I couldn’t run a fast first mile if I’d wanted to. I spent a lot of that first mile making my way around and in-between runners so I could run a faster pace. I was afraid my first mile might be over 10 minutes but it was an okay 9:09 pace.
I was happy with that but knew I needed to pick up the pace to reach my 8:40 overall pace goal. I tried not to panic when my second mile was only 9:08. Apparently, the pace felt so good, I fell into step with the runners around me and stayed there. Plus there was a lot of chatting and laughter so it was fun. My third mile was faster but still only 8:55.
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