Smarter, stronger AND faster
Coming back from my ITB injury, my plan was simply this: to come back smarter and stronger. If that meant faster, then all the better. Today those "comeback" plans to came together perfectly and the results were so surprising.
I ran 48:08 in the Monument Avenue 10k in Richmond today, 3 seconds faster than my PR two years ago, which was the last time I raced this distance. Even better is that this PR came with a negative split. I ran 24:06 in the first half and 24:02 in the second half. All week long I have said that I'd see how things were going at the halfway point before "going for it." Truth be told, I "went for it" the whole race.
After I hit the first mile under 8 minutes and the second mile in 7:35, there was no backing down. I felt like I struggled a bit in the middle miles, but I was still pulling in miles under 8 minutes.
As I neared the last minute, I could feel the emotions hit me as I thought about my grandfather a lot in the final mile, just knowing he probably would have enjoyed being in the crowd at the finish line.
I love it when I have a race that I can walk away from with no regrets. I may have let a few seconds slip away in certain parts of the course, but this was my race today. It was so unexpected, but so awesome. Nearly 6 hours later I still can't find the right words to explain it.
I've talked before about how much I don't like the 10k distance -- too long if you start too slow, too short if you screw up going out too fast -- but as I was racing today I realized how important running 6.2 miles very hard is. I'm pretty sure that I'll be tackling this distance again very soon.