Hot off the line cause this is a race! Hard to keep that illusion going though as my pace quickly dropped; then I sped up far too fast before gradually and unevenly finding my pace (goal is to start at 5:40 and hope that feels easy). Naomi was unfortunately right about Ada Hayden being a busy place for walkers (and a few bikers and runners and 1 rollerblader). Thankfully, Naomi took over passing responsibilities to yell out "on your left" and made it easy for me to pass (though, of course, another weird thing about GPS-ing your own race is tangents don't matter, I run until my watch says 10miles). First mile finished in a faster-than-expected but not relaxing:
I settled into a pace that seemed right but my breathing was still audible and I couldn't find a relaxing rhythm.
The 3rd mile was rough mentally as I felt like I needed to press the effort or else I'd drop to 5:50. 10miles is feeling like a long way.
I was already anticipating getting to 5 and being able to feel that comforting (or perhaps alarming) feeling of reaching halfway. But thinking about that far too soon made this mile seem to take forever.
Into the 5th mile and now I'm finally close to halfway and also starting to feel more confident. It's annoying that I seem to be riding the edge of going too hard this whole time but I'm feeling strong. If things go right, I'll start feeling good and then a big negative split just like last year.
5:43 (halfway 28:09)
I promised to not look at my pace at all for this 6th mile. That paid off as I focused on keeping a good cadence (not that it showed in my cadence data).
I was motivated after my 6th mile and again told myself not to focus on the watch. I was getting excited about a strong finish until I realized that I needed another lap before that strong finish could be implemented. Then it seemed like I was gradually slowing and I looked at my watch after 3/4 of the mile. The slow reading prompted me to pick up the pace and ended up with a surprisingly fast split.
8th mile, starting to feel very confident about holding pace and likely speeding up. Nevertheless, this mile became more about making sure I get through it feeling just as good as I started, thus my slowest mile.
It's go time now as I got back to the faster pace and gradually tested out faster and faster stretches as I prepared for a hard and fast final mile.
The last mile started with a slight uphill before I used the slight downhill to my advantage. I got a little ahead of myself and got peeved when I checked my watch and I hadn't passed 9.5 yet. But once I DID hit 9.5, I dropped closer to 5min pace. 1 brief slowdown on an incline before kicking in for my best mile:
A solid time, though of course it would have been nice to break 56. Beat last year's time by 30+ seconds. Though to be fair, last year my same GPS read 10.08miles, so that means this year was only 10sec faster. On the other hand, it's hard to say what the solo TT conversion is (not to discount Naomi on the bike, that was much better than actually being alone). All-in-all, I'm quite happy, and maybe more so with my mental strength than physical. Still, my fitness is good but mainly hoping this propels me to a few more good races than this being my peak.