I had such a good time at the Four Courts Four Miler yesterday. The course is really challenging – a mile straight downhill, a mile out and back on a pretty flat road (save for the pot holes I kept stepping in) and then a mile straight back up the hill at the end. I went in deciding I was going to have a good time and not worry too much about time (leprechaun hats = fun times). I thought the course would be good practice for my leg of that National Half Marathon Relay (the middle five miles, 2 miles uphill and 3 miles downhill) and I was curious to see how I’d do and hoped to finish at around 45:00.
Ready for the race!
Not taking the race seriously led to a few mistakes, but since I was having fun I didn’t get too bent out of shape. I definitely didn’t eat enough before hand. I had a Luna Bar in the car on the way over, but BF and I ran a 2 mile warm up to stick to our 10 Miler training plans that called for 6 miles yesterday. Halfway through the Four Miler I was starving – my stomach was growling loudly enough to hear over my iPod.
My warm up went great (10:43 average pace). But apparently, as I stood around for 5 minutes before the race start I knocked my knee brace loose because about 50 feet into the race it fell off! I had to stop and pick it up and run over to the side of the road and put it back on (seriously, how did I manage that?). Once it was back on it stayed on. My first two miles were awesome (19:52).
I started psyching myself out between mile 2 and 3. I knew the big hill was coming up at mile 3 and I started convincing myself I needed to conserve energy. I felt fine (though starving) but I slowed my pace by almost 2 minutes – a bit overboard. I got to the uphill and grabbed some water at the water stop and then decided that I’d rather speed walk up the steep incline and then run the rest. My last mile was so slow but really, I think doing that was the best choice.
Look how happy I am crossing the finish line! This is what it’s all about!
My Garmin showed 45:07 as I crossed the finish line, exactly where I wanted to be! My official time was 46:06, which means I lost a whole minute with the knee brace shenanigan (my Garmin is set to autostop so it must have turned off as I was grabbing the brace and putting it back on). I’m still happy. This was my first four miler so it’s an automatic PR!
Did you race this weekend? How did it go? Do you have any races coming up?
*PS. Check me out on the Pacers site! I’m one of the featured pictures!