Quite a jump in mileage this month--those long runs really add up. April will probably be even more, since I'll be hitting the 20- and 22-milers. It was also a race-heavy month. I got a post-college PR in the 10K and came close to one in the 5K. Probably got a life-time PR in the 10-mile also, but I don't know for sure (more on that later).
In comparison, April holds only one race, the 15K in Indy. I'm looking for a lifetime PR in this one. It will be hard to get, but it's doable. Then a three-week break until my last race leading up the marathon. Then it's taper time! It's hard to believe how close it's getting.
Yesterday's race was okay, but not great. I knew from the first half mile that I was having an off day--my legs felt heavy and unresponsive. The worst thing about yesterday was that the Garmin pooped out on me. Well, the batteries did. I brought my charger and some fresh batteries with me, and changed them right before we left the house yesterday morning. But I made the mistake of not checking to make sure they were working. When I got there, the battery gauge showed on its lowest indication, which usually means I have 5-10 minutes of juice left. I guess those batteries are shot. This makes me want one the newer models even more, but this just takes a little more planning ahead (and apparently more batteries--grr). I'll get some good use out of this one, and maybe replace it with a 205 or 305 in a couple of years--or when prices come down enough.
Anyways, I was sans Garmin and I didn't even have a back-up watch with me. The race also didn't have a clock at the beginning, so I had no idea how far off the official clock I was. I obediently started back around the 8-minute marker (and this was even a little further up than my planned pace) but of course I spent the first mile weaving around people who were running anything but 8 min pace, including a group of WALKERS who were FIVE ABREAST. Ugh. My favorite was before the race; I noticed a pair of somewhat overweight guys wearing skimpy, colorful running shorts over spandex bike shorts. They had decorated their t-shirts, and each was wearing a neon baseball hat. They headed on past me towards the front and I didn't see where they finally lined up but I bet it was close to the starting line right after the seeded runners. I passed them in the second mile. They were jogging, that's the only word for it. I noticed them finish a good 20-30 minutes after me while I was sitting on the hill afterwards, enjoying my Powerade. They did a wonderful job of making complete fools of themselves. Unbelieveable. There were signs, and they announced it over the loudspeaker numerous times, actually explaining in detail what the signs meant, so it's not like they misunderstood. There's really just no excuse.
So the race follows a pretty tree-lined road and then turns left before turning right into Iroquois Park. Iroquois Park is gorgeous this time of year--the trees are just beginning to leave out, and they were interspersed with flowering trees in purple and white. Just beautiful. If only I was having a better race. I hung on for a few miles, but once we hit the hills in the park, I'm sure my pace slowed down close to 9 min/mile. I hit the halfway point in 45 something by the official clock. At that point I kind of got a second wind. I did a little better on the remaining hills, and once we were out of the park I was able to maintain what felt like a faster pace. The last half of the race was only marred by a woman who hung right behind me who went "Huh" aloud with each exhalation. For FIVE miles. I've done that before, but only if I'm alone, dying at the end of a race, or in a lot of pain, and certainly never for more than a few breaths. It takes too much energy. I just don't get it. I guess it kept me motivated because I tried to go faster so I wouldn't have to listen to her, but I couldn't pull it off.
Other than the little annoyances (once again, I do like to complain), it was a good race for an off day. I finished in 1:27 something on the official clock, which turned out to be 1:26:27 chip time. Negative splits! I figured that I ran roughly 44:15 for the first half--8:51 miles. But the last half would have been in something like 42:15--8:27 miles. So, even though the overall time was slower than I wanted, I am proud of those last five miles. That was definitely the best part of yesterday, and a great confidence booster for the long races to come.