Saturday I ran a 10 mile race. This was my first race at this distance and I found it quite enjoyable... I think it helped that the race course was super familiar to me and it was a nice, brisk cool morning.
What didn't help was the fact that my headphones were jacked up. (I swear, I always have issues with headphones, ugh). I couldn't keep my right headphone in my ear, so after mile 2 I just shoved the thing down my shirt and left the left headphone in my ear. This probably ended up being a good thing overall, since the race course was open to traffic along a few stretches... but we all know how much I hate to hear breathing (be it my own, or some dude behind me).
The above and below pictures were taken before the first mile marker. Notice, that before I see the photographer... I am messing with the damn headphone. But, amazingly... once I see the photographer...
I started off hitting miles 1 and 2 at 9:00/mile pace. At this time, I was thinking to myself... I want to finish under 1:30. And then I realized.... dammit! I'm not supposed to be racing! This is supposed to be nice and easy... I don't need to fatigue my muscles before my marathon. So, I tried to hold back. But jeez... it's so hard when people are whizzing past you.
Around mile 4, I started freaking out that I wasn't ready for a marathon this coming weekend. I felt like I was struggling and that finishing a 10 mile race was going to be difficult, let alone finishing 26.2 miles.
Then around mile 6, I mellowed out (thanks in part to the help of "Passing Afternoon" by Iron and Wine), put myself on cruise control (albeit, a too fast cruise control) and coasted to the finish. By the end of the race, I felt awesome. I had pushed myself a little... but not so much that I did any damage for the marathon. But the best part, y'all??? My legs felt fan-freaking-tastic. Like, I even ran to my car after finishing. No fatigue, no dead legs, nothing but awesome-ness. It was like I was just getting warmed up.
I finished the race in 1:31:51. Which is a 9:12/mile pace. Not too shabby. I was 7th out of 12 in my age group... which sucked a little, but whatev. This was a great race and I'm glad I ran it.
Bonus: I also got a sweet hooded-sweatshirt for the race tee.
All photos courtesy of Elly Foster, Nashville Striders Photographer.