Early to bed, early to rise, makes a (wo)man healthy, wealthy and wise. Something to that effect anyway.
DH and I got up at about 4:45 a.m. ~ I somehow got it into my head that the 15K started at 6:00 a.m. so we were en route just before 5:30. About 15 mintues outside Redmond, as I re-read the race brochure, I discover that the race doesn't start until 7:00. We therefore elected to turn back home... 1) I had forgotten my camera and had hoped DH could take some photos and 2) We decided to grab my wallet to get my FM rewards card and thereby stop for gas.
DH kept giving me a hard time about 'getting it together' and actually reading the brochure ahead of time... I told him that I could have been better prepared had I not had to get 3 people ready... the conversation proceeded a little and was actually quite humorous, but unfortunately, most of it was an inside joke and would be rather lengthy to try to explain here. Anyway...
We arrived at the start with about 15 minutes to spare... just enough time for me to make a quick stop at the restroom. Shortly thereafter, I lined up at the start and within a few minutes we were off. It was a small field and for a mile or so, I could actually see the leaders ahead of me.
I was very happy to have a Garmin - it certainly helped to keep me on pace and not go out too fast. At the first mile marker, my split was 7:44. Too fast to start so I slowed up. At each aide station, I stopped long enough to take 2-3 sips of water or PowerAide (I alternated) and then I resumed pace. I tried hard to maintain a consistent, even effort. I figured that I could slow up a little if necessary but I really wanted to stay at an 8:00 mile pace (give or take a few seconds). My plan was to pick it up for the final mile.3 if I had anything left.
Here are the remaining splits:
Mile 2 - 8:06
Mile 3 - 8:20
Mile 4 - 8:29
Mile 5 - 8:15
Mile 6 - 8:12
Mile 7 - 8:14
Mile 8 - 8:01
Mile 9 - 7:44
.3 - 2:48
Totals: 9.36 miles / 1:15:56 / 8:06 per mile
I am very pleased with my performance. Going in, I had hoped to finish in about 1:19 if all went well. In my dreams, I hoped for 1:12. Splitting the difference feels great!
At about mile 5-6, I leaped frogged a guy in black T and shorts a couple of times. When he passed me the last time, I tried hard to not let him extend the distance between us and kept him within 1-2 tenths of a mile. Then at mile 7 or so, another guy passed me... as he did so, he turned to acknowledge me and said, "Good job." Although there had been a handful of others who'd passed me since the start, I made up my mind that I wasn't going to let these two beat me. I don't know why. As the mile 8 marker came and went, I began to question whether that would happen. My mantra became, "Run your race. Don't get caught up in this." I started to feel a little fatigued but somehow managed to hold on.
I glanced at my Garmin as I was passing the guy in black T and shorts, completed distance 8.76 or so (I don't recall exactly). Could I kick it in? I generally have a pretty strong kick. I caught up with the other guy I had my sights on earlier but as I did so, he turned to see me and decided to pick it up himself. We ran neck and neck for about 3-4 tenths of a mile. I was beginning to get a little worried. My kick wasn't as strong as it has been in past races. This was both good (as I knew I left it all on the course) and bad (I didn't know if I was going to be able to hold the guy off). But just as I felt like I was all out of steam, he let up! He started to slow and this gave me a little something extra. I was able to hold on! I crossed the finish line in 1:15 !! Four minutes faster than I had predicted and hoped for earlier. Sweet success. :)
Originally, I hadn't expected to see DH and the kiddos at the finish (there were shuttles to bring us back into Redmond from Smith Rock State Park). I believe, however, that they arrived at the finish at the same time as I did because just as he was parking, DH said he saw me walking back with a water cup and talking with one of the volunteers. I took just a few more steps when I happened to glance at the license plate of an XC-90 and recognized it as our own. They had taken the time to get breakfast beforehand - and therefore they didn't get any photos at the finish. There were a few photographers along the course.... I can hope. :)
As usual, we didn't attend the post-race party so I don't yet know my standings. It will likely be in the paper tomorrow so I'll let ya'll know when I do.
Run long and strong. :)