The Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run was a complete success for me. I love setting a goal and then hitting it on the nose. I told myself for weeks that I'd run 1:13, but in the last few days I started to change my goal to 1:16 because I didn't feel confident.
When the race started I lined up in the red corral with the other mid-packers. When they finally let us go (3 minutes behind the lead pack) I ran with my natural projected pace. I dodged around a few people who were taking it pretty slow, but who knows if they were the ones passing me late in the race. I looked at my Garmin often to ensure that I wasn't going out too fast. I maintained very even splits for the entire race and the first two miles were my slowest as I planned.
My declared plan was 2 miles 7:40, 4 miles 7:30, 2 miles 7:20, last 2 miles give it all I've got. I stuck to the general structure of this plan, but actually felt really fresh. Running the mostly flat course in the great weather must have really had an effect on me. I kind of felt mile 9 on the way back from Hains Point, but I focused on a person I wanted to beat who was picking up the pace.
This girl in pink shorts passed me and I decided that she would not beat me, but slowly she left me behind as we approached the end so I found another target. A man and his son were ahead of me. His nine year old must have joined him from the sidelines and was keeping pace with him for at least a quarter mile. Worse yet, they both stayed ahead of me! I had enough, I picked up the pace with about a half mile to go and said, "Way to go, kid" as I passed them both. Then I stretched out for an almost all out dash. I hit a 4:50 pace for the last 100 meters or so and finished with my best mile of the race. I ran a negative split and hit my goal time with the unofficial 01:12:57 (Garmin said I did better). Good enough for 935 out of 6,881 men and 211 out of 1,402 men in my age group.
I feel very accomplished and that I have quite a bit of improvement in my racing skills to go. I know that I can close better than I did - I should've left a bit more on the course.
Mile 01 - 00:07:33
Mile 02 - 00:07:22
Mile 03 - 00:07:03
Mile 04 - 00:07:20
Mile 05 - 00:07:19
Mile 06 - 00:07:13
Mile 07 - 00:07:21
Mile 08 - 00:07:16
Mile 09 - 00:07:08
Mile 10 - 00:06:57