Monday, October 6, 2008

Race Pace

Yesterday, on the morning of our local half marathon road race, my daughter, Ava, asked "Daddy, are you going to win the race?" He said that he didn't think so. She then asked if I had ever won a race. My "ummm" was so long that she changed the subject before I could rack my brain for something that I must have won. Then my husband got talking about his ideal sub-6 pace and beeped his watch incessantly.

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.

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