Sunday, September 18, 2011

The best place to PR (Downtown 5k)

(Results) Today was a good day. Lots of really fast people came from all over the country to Providence; many of my teammates came down from Boston; and I ran a road PR!

 My tiered goals were to run faster than I ran here last year (18:10), to run under 18:00, to run 5:40 pace, and to be able to finish strong. And I did! I was very fortunate that one of my much faster teammates was tempoing the race, and when she passed me at 1.5 miles I latched on and ran directly behind her for the rest of the race. The pace was tough, but I set little goals like "keep up with her until the next turn... Okay, now keep up until the next turn." In this way I kept up until the final turn uphill, at which point she sped on ahead of me and I contented myself with passing the two women who had been with us for two miles or so and also a the group ahead.

Here is an awesome sequence of pictures from Capstone Photo where I pass someone who, as it turns out, is currently a Williams student! Our clock times were only 0.6 seconds apart.

I achieved my goal of 5:40 pace, basically, with time-clock splits of 5:34, 11:20 and 17:02 before the finish tape at 17:36. (I started three seconds behind the starting line, so subtract that from the splits.) This is a four-second road PR for me, eclipsing the 17:40 from last year's JCC race. My actual time was 17:35.62, but in road running the timer is supposed to round up to the nearest second, so 17:36 it is.

I was 28th among women and 102nd overall, not as high up as last year when I was 16th woman, but the competition was much stronger this year. I feel great, and I've only done a few workouts so far, so hopefully I will only get faster and sharper as the fall goes on. But right now, I'm happy with a PR. As I have said several times today, the national championship is the best place to PR, because it's the race that matters.

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