I've been chasing a new 10K PR for six months. Last week, I had a fantastic 6-mile tempo run, so I had confidence that I could see that new PR yesterday.
So, I tried a couple of new things: 1. I wore a watch. 2. I had a plan.
Who knew that would work? Yeah, I know, every other runner on the planet.
Here's something that didn't change today: I went out too fast. Yep, my plan for mile 1 was to run it in 10:10. I looked at my watch at the 1-mile mark, saw 9:46, and said, "Oops."
Too late for fussing now; I had 5.2 miles to go. So, I slowed it down a bit, and hit the 2-mile mark in 20:09. I thought, "Perfect! But now I have to find a pace between those two."
I guess I found it; I don't remember my splits from there on out, but I turned around at 31:40ish, which meant I would have to run a negative split by a minute or two, as planned. So I was pretty much on track.
I saw Chad on the way back; he was a few minutes behind me and looking good!
I used mile 5 as a "recovery" mile-- went a bit slower than my overall planned pace so that I would be ready to lay it all out for mile 6. And that bit of the plan worked perfectly. I caught up to a couple of people who I had been trailing for the entire race, and hit the 6-mile point at just over one hour. Perfect!
It took less than two minutes to get from there to the finish, and my final time was 1:02:15-- a new PR by 42 seconds. Holy cow. (My "official" time is 1:02:20-- but they had some clock issues, so I think I may have been cheated out of a couple of seconds & it should have been more like 1:02:17.)
I don't think I can cut 42 seconds off every time, but I would be delighted to get the last 15 seconds off to get down to 1:02:00. From there, I can work on my ultimate goal to be under an hour. In the meantime, I'm going to train extra-hard to get in a sub-30-minute 5K before the end of the year.