This Saturday, I did something that I didn't really ever expect to do in a race: I broke 19 minutes and PR'd at the Sonoco Birthday Bash with a time of 18:56 (6:06 pace). To say I am thrilled and on cloud 9 is an understatement.
I am fortunate in that I don't work on Fridays in the summer and I like to take advantage of the early morning to get in a long run. I've had a race the past few weekends and have one the next few, but I was itching to try out some new shoes (Brooks PureFlow) and feeling great, so I ran 8 miles.
When I got up Saturday morning, my legs felt a little tired, but I wasn't worried about the race. I ate my usual scrambled eggs and cinnamon toast (in the car) on the way to the race.
I picked up my bib when we got there and then did a short warm up run. I stretched probably three or four times as much as I normally do before a race. My legs felt tight and I wanted to loosen them up as much as I could before we started.
I started up front like usual and stayed with the fastest guys at first.
Going into the second turn, I told one of the fastest men I know (really, he is incredible!) that I was sticking with him because I wanted to PR (my previous best race time was 19:48). We stuck together the whole race.
This course had some small hills on it which is different for me. I used those to my advantage and went up and down fast.
I don't look at my watch often when I race - usually just at the first half mile or so and again on the miles - but I love that my new watch (Garmin Forerunner 220) beeps at each mile. When I was at the half-way point, I was pretty confident that I'd PR, just had no idea it'd be by that much.
When I got about 100 yards from the finish, I saw my husband and our boys. A few seconds later, I rounded the final corner and saw "18:40" on the clock. At that point, I just sprinted in as fast as I could.
I may have also screamed "I broke 19!" as I ran through the finish. I was thrilled to say the least.
I ended up with a time of 18:56 (6:06 pace), was first female and sixth overall.
The feeling of accomplishment is still so strong. When I race, I race against myself and my best time and I can say that without a doubt, this race was the best won I've run.