It don't get any better than this!!!!
I don't know if I let on during the post run trash talking at Starbuck's but I AM PUMPED UP!!! FLYING HIGH!!! EXCITED!!! STOKED!!! FREAKING ON CLOUD NINE!!! This morning, I NAILED my mile time trial. Not having a clue what to expect, I totally surprised myself. If it gets any better than this folks, I'm gonna burst!!! Seriously, I just did a happy dance around the living room couch. My kids are looking at me wondering what's wrong with Dad. Not a thing, kids! Just livin' this wonderful life.
And to think when I woke up, I actually contemplated skipping out on this morning's SMARTie workout. That would have been a big mistake. So, SMART Lite today called for silly walks, 1 mile all out, and 3 mile cool down. In other words, it's MILE TIME TRIAL DAY!!! I got up in plenty time to take in some sustenance and get over to the track a little before 7. After some stretching and a warmup mile we gathered for some silly, silly walks. Coach was giving out booby prizes for anyone who could guess the artist, song, and album that he was playing on the speakers. No one had a clue. So, he offered a prize for just the artist. Blank stares. :| He finally just asked if anyone knew the decade the music was from. Finally a few guesses...70's? No. 80's? BINGO!!! Nice guess, Adam! You win.
Steeeve had already organized our heats by the time silly walks were over. I was in the 3rd heat with Barb, Pamela, K, and Jen. We were about to start and I found out that I had a treat in store. I was assigned a pacer, none other than HARRA top 10 Open Female Runner of the Season, Jennie Minken. What an honor.
5...4...3...2...1 and we're off. Right out of the gate, Jennie was there pulling me along, keeping me steady and strong, not too fast for the first quarter mile. Jenn said all the right things. "C'mon, you big hunk!"..."You run, gorgeous!!!" Ha! Ha! Seriously, Jen paced me perfectly. She knew when I was giving in (lap 3) and she knew exactly when it was time on that back straightaway in lap 4 to kick it up and finish strong. Thanks Jennie!!! You rock!!! I owe you big time.
Ok, so I had not clue what my time was going to be. I've only done one mile time trial in my life and it was last year around October, after a good 3 or 4 months of training. I ran a 11:07 then so I'm thinking, hey, it's just August. I'd be happy with anything under 11 minutes. A 10:something would make for a pretty good blog entry, right? Now, just for grins, when I was surfing the net last night, I made my way over to McMillan Running Calculator to take a gander at what my mile prediction would be for a 5:48:30 marathon. That's my goal time this year for Houston. That's exactly one hour better than last year. Anyway, I didn't really remember this morning what it said but I remembered it was around 10:20 or 10:30. But that was really dreaming to think I could do that. Like I say, I was shooting for ANYTHING with a 10 in it.
I finished lap one in 2:30, a little fast but feeling good, of course. I knew then and there I had gone out too fast but I didn't feel like I was running on too much credit. Lap two showed that I had settled in with a split of 5:13 or something like that. I didn't want to lose ANOTHER 15 seconds on lap 3 so I just concentrated on maintaining my effort and trying not to crash. I was breathing rally hard going into lap 4. Heck, I was breathing pretty hard going into lap 2 and 3 for that matter. I maintained good effort through the turn and then at about the straightaway, Jennie said "Now here it is. Pick it up a bit. Almost there." It's kind of a blur but I remember feeling good coming around that last curve. Not good in a good way but good like "this is almost over". I do remember one thing very vividly. When I came out of the 2nd turn on lap one, I could see the clock very clearly, 100 yards in the distance. Same on lap 2. Lap 3, I didn't care. I didnt' even look at the clock. But on lap 4, I hit 100 yards and looked up at the clock and I couldn't see it. The numbers were all a blur. Oh, well, I thought. It really doesn't matter now. Just push it!!! I picked it up as best I could, legs burning, chest about to explode, and collapsed across the finish line.
I don't know what I saw or what tricks the heat was playing on me but I could have sworn I saw 10:26 when I came across the finish. I was pumping my fist a little, very, very pleased with 10:26, trying to come back from the dead. Once conscious, I checked the Garmin. 10:19??? What the hey? Well, I just figured in the state I was in, I hit stop halfway down the last straightaway, hoping it would be over if I just hit that button. But then it was confirmed. The time that was recoreded from the clock was 10:19. That's official!!!
Talk about all smiles!!! I was very, very surprised and pleased with a 10:19 mile, a PR for me and 48 seconds off last October's attempt, and it's August. It was so encouraging doing this with all the Striders. The morning's most memorable and encouraging words for me came from Steeeve. He told me that the difference between this year and last year, besides the 48 seconds, was that this year "I was running." Now some people might take that wrong but I know exactly what coach meant and that was a HUGE encouragement to me.
If that wasn't fun enough, I got to do a 3 mile cooldown with Jen. Not Jen the pacer, Jen the blogger. I must say we kicked butt on those 3 miles. Even though it was getting hotter and hotter, Jen and I just got faster and faster. We did a big negative split (not much of a cooldown but a good workout) with a 13:38, 13:34, and 13:08 for miles 1, 2, and 3. Way to go, Jen!!! That was fun.
Now, I said I didn't remember what McMillan running calculator said was my mile predictor for a 5:48:30 marathon, right? When I got home, I went back to check, just for fun. I type in the url, get to the calculator and enter 5:48:30, my goal marathon time. The page loads and I scan to find the 1 mile time. I do a doubletake. It's exactly 10:19. Don't believe me? Go there and put in 5:48:30 and choose marathon and look at the mile time. I've done it 5 times now because I don't believe it. No way I planned that this morning when I woke up. I think it's an omen.