Yesterday, Paula and I ran a loop of White Rock Lake. We needed to do 9 on our schedule for training towards NYC Half Marathon on August 16 (can't wait!). But that Saturday was also Too Hot To Handle 15K/5K race at the lake (about 2000 finishers). So we donned our Heels and Hills gear and thought we'd get the 9 miles in my looping the lake and saying hi to all our Dallas Running Club pals out there with the training program and then cheer on all the 15Kers for the race, fellow DRCers and Heels and Hills-ers.
When we started, Paula asked what I wanted to do. She's been helping push me to get faster. I told her I thought a slow long run pace like 12:00 min/mile (goal race pace for half marathon is 11:30) because the longest I had done since the North Trail Half Marathon on May 17 was a 10K distance each of the last two weekends. Plus I knew it would be tiring clapping, yelling, and cheering for all of our friends.
It was a cooler weekend here in Dallas, upper-70s when we started. Partly cloudy. Wonderful. A little way into mile 2 I told Paula I thought we were going a bit fast and should slow down. She told me I was driving the pace today. Oh, ME?!? I thought I was following her. I'd been used to her picking the day's pace and making me stick to it. It became part of my lesson that day that my natural pace is definitely moving to the 11:00-11:25 range because I didn't look at my Garmin much that morning, but our splits had us mostly staying in that range.
Our miles 3 to 5 were a lot of fun as we cheered and yelled hi to all our DRC friends that were out for the fall training program and then we hit the wall of Too Hot to Handle 15Kers. We took a break for a few minutes to stand on the sidelines and cheer once the crowd got pretty thick across the road. It was so much fun to see all the great runner friends and cheer on all the girls wearing Heels and Hills event shirts!
Once all the 15Kers passed and we hit mile 5, we took a one mile walk break. We were out here to get the distance done and just enjoy ourselves. So we took our energy gels then and chatted and laughed. (Note this was the only walk break of the whole run - a huge improvement for me in this stage where I've wanted to work on not needing walk breaks - which I note that not HAVING to take them is different from from choosing whether or not to walk depending on the circumstances.
At mile 6 we ran through the rest. And got to cheer ALL the same 15Kers on from mile 6.5 to mile 8.5, which was nice to see them all again because they were a little more spread out by then so we could pick out the faces of more individuals we knew!
We got back to the car right at 9 miles. I looked at my watch and told Paula that I thought this might be close to a PR pace for me. So we headed out another 0.15 and turned around and came back. I was guessing my PR was right around 2 hours. Well, now I know to look up PRs beforehand. We finished in 1:52, and my current PR is 1:50. If we had "taken our running seriously" for the mile 6 where we walked (and I could have run it, I had the energy), I would have a new PR (and to me, doing the distance makes a PR regardless of whether it's publicly verifiable as a race PR or not, as a training PR).
Final: 9.3 miles = 1:52:29, pace: 12:06
Without the walking mile - 8.3 miles = 1:34:42, pace: 11:25 (this is perfect for my goal of breaking 2 1/2 hours at the half marathon this year, which is an 11:30 pace)
So if I had just run that mile, I would have had 9.3 miles in approx. 1:46, which would beat my 1:50 PR.
Mile 1: 11:19
Mile 2: 11:37
Mile 3: 11:43
Mile 4: 11:09
Mile 5: 11:28
Mile 6: 17:47
Mile 7: 11:22
Mile 8: 11:19
Mile 9: 11:31
Last 0.3: 10:50
I had so much fun seeing a lot of the runner friends that, unless you are in the same training program or happen to have the same racing schedule, you just NEVER get to run into. Happy Running or Walking to All!