This was my third time running the Thanksgiving Ten-Miler race in DeLand. I choose to run this race because it is more than just a 5k and also because it's out-of-town which to me makes it even more special/memorable. And it doesn't feel like Florida.
I woke up at 5:00am. I had an hour before when I had planned to leave, and took the opportunity to make some pancakes to get some energy in me while there was still a couple hours before the race. I created Mickey Mouse pancakes along with a couple of other patterns...
Hug and Kiss Pancakes
I made it out the door at 6:00am, and it took me about an hour-fifteen minutes. It wasn't dark and foggy as it was last year. The traffic was light and fast on the way up, and pretty busy but also fast on the way home after the race. No road raging happening today. :) I got to the race a good 45 minutes before the start and the weather was beautiful. I was well-rested and feeling pretty.
Me Layered (looked good but i didn't end up running like this)
As I was stretching/warming-up in the parking lot, a running friend of mine, Scott, found me. Scott and I met at this Thanksgiving Ten-Miler a couple years ago and met again last year. Scott is a long distance runner who is originally from Long Island and has completed 25 marathons so far in his running career. And last year he came over to the East Coast and ran the Space Coast Marathon while I did the half -- we'll be doing the same thing this Sunday. Early this year, we both ran the Disney Marathon, which was a lot of fun. It's interesting that these races are the only times we see each other, and even though it's not often, there's a stability/reliability aspect to it that I find substantial. He's such a good friend to all.
Me and Scott with our finisher's medals
Anyways, Scott and I ran the first couple miles together, then I left, picked up my pace to get back on schedule for 7:30-minute miles. As I sped up, I was feeling really comfortable with my form/pace/breathing, so I again upped my goal to try to get under 1:13:00 (my PR for ten miles up till today). At mile 4 1/2, when we started seeing the leaders heading back on the course, I picked up my pace even more and began breathing loudly (and like a girl in heat) in order to keep rhythm; this was probably distracting to the other runners... oh well.
In addition to the loud breathing, I had to work to keep myself from sprinting past people; I just needed to concentrate on my own pace and to be patient. And this morning, I did just that, and I'm very happy with my performance -- I ran quite the negative split - 36:41 (7:20 pace) for the first half vs. 33:37 (6:41 pace) for the second half [I haven't even run that pace for a 5K so far this season!].
I have to say that the weather and the newfound recognition of being a kicker both significantly contributed to my new Ten-Miler PR of 1:10:18 (7:01 pace).
My PR was good enough today for 4th place in my age group. The race is becoming very competative, which is good -- a couple years ago, I won at least third in not less than 1:16:00. Anyways, here are some pictures of my race bling:
The Finisher's Medal
My Age Group Award
My Race Number
All Together Now
Anyways, good times again... :)