No, not the sound barrier. I'm talking about the 10 minute barrier. As in 1 mile time trials. That's right. Tonight was mile time trials on the west side with the Striders. It was a beautiful night for a mile PR!!!
I had been thinking/dreaming about sub-10 all day. The last time I ran a mile all out was August 11 at SMARTie's first mile time trial of the season. I ran a 10:19 that day, taking 48 seconds off my mile PR from 2006. So it took almost a year to take 48 seconds off. Would it be possible to take 20 seconds off in just 8 weeks. I had my doubts but couldn't help but daydream all day.
After a 2 mile warmup and some silly walks, it was announced that there would be 2 heats and my heat was first. I felt anxious, a little scared (this was going to hurt) but still positive and optimistic. My fears disappeared when coach stepped up next to me and asked simply, "sub-10 tonight?" as he reset his chronometer to get ready to pace me. "That's the plan," I answered. Coach knew without without even a word from me that I wanted this tonight.
Before we took off, I thought now if I can't trust coach to pace me to this, who can I trust? So, I threw Mr. Garmin down on the ground an placed my goal in the hands of THE MAN. Through the first turn it felt like to me that we were a bit fast. Turns out we were. I got a good smile early in the run as coach checked his watch and said, "Woah!!!" But after that, coach was like a machine with the pace and it turned out good that I ended up with a little time in the bank for the first quarter.
At about the 200m mark, Kay and Barb joined in to pace and lend moral support. That and it's always better to run with hotties. :) I did manage to look at the clock after 1 lap and I was in good shape. If I remember right, I was at about 2:22 or so. 8 seconds in the bank. I don't remember my lap 2 split but I do remember that I had slowed a bit. Just a bit. I think it was right at 5 minutes.
I really did not want to finish. Another half mile at that effort seemed like soooooooo far. Coming around the last 100m of lap 3, I must say, had I not been running with coach and company, I would have just peeled off into the grass. I wanted to so bad. Plus, I was slowing even more. I remember being off pace by about 3 or 4 seconds. I think I hit the clock for lap 3 at 7:33 or so.
One more lap to go. It seemed like I was maintaining my pace through ~1300m but I was fading fast. With a half a lap to go, Barb said something about it just being from Eldridge to the water fountain or something. All I remember thinking was..."DOES NOT COMPUTE!" Then Steeeve said, "One more Kenyan relay left." Now those Kenyan relays are seared into my memory. Thus, I knew how far that was. I kicked it in. I felt like I took it up a small notch and just tried to finish strong. As the clock came into focus, I knew I had it. 9:54!!!
After I was done, I was ecstatic but I could not catch my breath to say anything. Finally, after about a minute, the holler that was building up inside came out. WAHOO!!!!
After a mile cooldown, I went to the car to call wifey-poo and give her the good news. Then we made our way over to Romano's for some scruptious eats and some trash talking. It was good to catch up with the Sheps and to hear about D's Maui marathon. Speaking of D, congrats on your PR tonight. D ran a 5:01 mile. IN-CRED-I-BLE!!!
Thanks coach, Barb, and Kay. No way I'd have been able to do that without you all running with me. And thanks to the Striders for all the cheering. Striders ROCK!!!
Now, one word...Rest day!