Smarter, stronger AND faster

Monument Avenue 10k, Richmond

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.

Monument Avenue 10k, Richmond, running

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.