It's funny living with someone who is so competitive and focused as an athlete while I am pretty relaxed with the notion of race pace. I did, however, get a good idea from a recent issue of Runner's World. It recommended having three goal times - one that you're really striving for, another that is attainable, and finally one that you would at least be content with. So, I picked two: a goal pace of 7:45 min/mile, something that would be a bit of a push, and a fall back of an 8-minute mile, which I figured I could do.
I started out with my running partner, who is a little bit stronger than I am, but we figured we'd give it a try opting for some company for the long run. I hung on until the turnaround at mile 7 and then there were a few small hills and I felt a little tired. She went ahead. I slowed down. I was off pace at the 10-mile mark and thankfully saw a friend who yelled "5K." That was helpful because I pulled it back together.
I finished with an 8-minute mile pace. Good enough for me this time. My husband finished 6th overall. He was a little off his pace, too, but was happy. We've since had a day to talk about the race -- where we were tired, the hill in disguise, who else we saw out there. We rarely race together because of kid duty, but I think this race will turn into an annual event for mommy and daddy. I'm already thinking about who I'll have as a sitter next year as our current one will be off to college.