I didn't really set out to be anti-social, but the star aligned and I just went with it. Fleet Feet was hosting the pre-race packet pick up for the Run Green 8k on the 5th, so I think a lot of the regulars just stayed away because of the traffic, but that's just a wild guess. Regardless of the reason, I was the only person running a my pace and distance for the run. There was a big group of people doing 11 min. miles and a couple of guys doing 9 min. miles, who were planning to run between 5-7 miles. I planned to run 4 miles at around 9 min pace, so I decided to tag along with the guys going for the longer run for a bit.
My sinuses were less of a problem than earlier in the week. I had been rocking the nasal decongestants and was finally feeling something akin to normal (or as close as I get). I felt better than I had at anytime in the last week, so with a race just a few days away. It was time for me to try pick up my pace a bit and prove to myself that I could challenge my 8k PR this weekend. I didn't want to do anything stupid during this run, but I also wasn't looking to mail it in either.
After hitting the half mile mark I started to pull away from the two guys that were planning to run longer than I planned. This wasn't bad form in my mind because we were going to split off at the mile and a half mark regardless. I was just feeling the need to test my legs. I wanted to go after my 8k PR, which I thought I could challenge depending upon the course. I ran on a very cold day when I set it and it took a long time for my legs to warm up, also I was in the midst of my overall Fall Fitness Land Slide! Currently, I have not returned to my peak fitness level, but I am moving in the right direction, which provided me with some optimism going into the race.
As I passed the Mile mark, I felt like I had hit a good pace a really wanted to work at maintain it. Over the next two miles I tried focus on my stride and not allow myself to back down. I knew that over the last mile I would need to back off a bit because of the climbs that were involved there. But over these to miles I really didn't want to get complacent or lost in my thoughts. I ignored everything but the road and traffic around me and just pushed myself forward. I wanted to run just shy of race pace and felt like I was doing just that. Also, I was running without my I-pod, which I have been leaving at home recently because I know that it is bad form to wear it in races, and some of the races that I have been registering for have had bans on them, so I just thought that it was time to shed the I-pod. Surprisingly, I didn't miss it. And, I was able to keep my pace under 9 mins, which was right where I wanted it.
The last mile was basically all incline so I backed of a little to spare my achilles and feet any unnecessary strain just before my race.
I ran 4 miles in 36:56.49 for a 9:13 pace, which was close enough to the 9 minute mile I would need if I wanted to get near my 8k PR of 44:44 . . . It looks pretty, but I wanted to see it fall!
Mile 1 8:54.05
Mile 2 8:22.58
Mile 3 8:58.61
Mile 4 10.39.48