...reached it and then wondered if you hadn't been so focused on that particular goal, perhaps you could've done better? In preparation for the Eugene 1/2, I printed out a slip of paper with my mile splits for every mile. I used an 8:40 pace for the first 6 miles, an 8:30 pace for the remaining miles.
When the race was underway, I enjoyed being there with Kong and took the first mile or two easy. My watch read ~10.40 somewhere before the 2 mile marker when I decided to go for my goal of finishing under two hours. According to my pace plan, if all went well, I would finish with 1:50:50 (previously my half PR was 2:07).
As the race progressed, I pushed the next few miles to get back on pace with the mile splits I had listed on the paper. At the 10K mark, I was right on. I continued to maintain pace, repeating in my head, SillieLillie's Boston mantra, "Even Effort" (Thank you, Lillie!).
At the 12 mile marker, I began to pick up the pace a little and at the 13, I sprinted to the finish. I was elated to see I had finished with 1:49:51. The next day, when I went to Masters Swim session (my normal routine on Monday), the coach asked how I was feeling. I felt great - just as though I had done a typical long run. I didn't have any soreness or fatigue. He then said something like, "So, strides and even pace through the middle miles. Good."
But I have to wonder now. Had I not been so focused on my mile splits, could I have done better. Should I have pushed more in the middle? How do you judge when you are pushing yourself to the limit without pushing so much that you end up not being able to finish? I suppose I fear NOT finishing. I go out easy. Stay as steady as I can. Push hard at the finish. Perhaps I need to push hard in the middle, too?
I posted this on RWs Masters forum this morning and I have so enjoyed reading the responses. I wanted to save them. So, I took the liberty to transfer them here. At the end of each month, I archive my blog onto my hard-drive. I will soon burn a CD and save it within my scrapbooks.