Felt great out there today! Wow!
I started running with/just behind the 2:00:00 group (9:10/mile pace), but I felt great and soon settled in around the 8:40 range (Miles 1-5). At about Mile 6 I still felt great, and noticed my pace pick up to the 8:20s. Ahead of the 2 hour group, I started doing the math to figure out what kind of finish time I might be able to get. Then I saw the 1:55:00 group, joined them for a little bit, but then kept going. I hit Mile 8 at 8:02, and I picked it up from there. At this point, though delierious, I started doing math again, and now I thought I had a chance to get under 1:50:00, but I had to keep pace at about 8:00/mile. I ran sub-8:00 the next few miles, and felt surprisingly good. A little tired at this point, but good. By Mile 10 I was huffing and puffing, but with only 3 to go, I felt I could crank it out. Near Mile 11 I passed a runner who said to me, "Looking great! You saved it for just the right time!" I said to him, "Maybe. I just hope I still have it two miles from now." Just after the Mile 12 marker, I passed the 1:50:00 pacer, saying to him, "I never dreamt I'd catch you." I knew then I was likely to meet my new goal - sub-1:50:00.
I'm very, very happy with this race. I've done virtually no speed work. I'm sure I could go sub-1:40:00, with attention to speed work ... That'll be next year's goal.
Kudos to the pacers! From the guy leading the 2:00 group, to the very enthusiastic group at 1:55 (they let out a huge cheer at every mile marker), to the guy with the 1:50 sign who encouraged me with less than a mile to go, they were all very encouraging, and from what I can tell, spot-on with the pace.
Official distance: 13.1 miles
Official time: 1:47:49 (8:14 pace)
New PR! Last PR 2:04:52 at the Richmond Half Marathon in November 2010. Bested that by 17 minutes today!
Garmin distance: 13.21 miles
Garmin time: 1:47:51.40 (8:10 pace)