One of the biggest lessons I have learned in six years of racing is that not every event will be the best ever. Today, I took that lesson to heart as some pretty crazy humidity was on hand for the Percival's Island 5 Miler in Lynchburg. I had a nice warm-up and was feeling pretty good as the race got under way, but a mile into it, I knew that pushing myself to set a PR wasn't smart. After hitting the first mile in 7:22, I settled into a pretty good pace for the rest of the race, finishing in 39:32 (8th in my age group among 17; 63rd overall among 200 runners).
Instead of taking the chance to injure myself or beat myself for running hard and not getting a personal best, I turned this into a nice tempo training run. My lack of speed work was evident today on top of the humidity, but that certainly didn't stop me from enjoying myself, the shaded trails, the views of the James River, running with a large group of people and getting in a solid, solid run.
While it wasn't anywhere close to my PR of 36:59, this race was quite possibly the smartest race I have ever done. And that's really all I have to say about this experience.
The winner of the POM Wonderful competition for guessing my race time is Danny, who guessed a time of 38:40. Danny's blog is one of the first ones I started reading a few years ago. You can head over to his blog to follow his training for the New York City Marathon. Thanks to everyone who guessed some times that I was certainly hoping for!