It was like the stars were aligning for a great run. The forecast was to be colder when we planned to start at 6 am, but in the 50s when I estimated we’d be done. I slept well, waking up right on time and easily getting out of bed for my toast. When I left the house I was feeling good. Really good. This was my last long run before taper and I was going to make it count. Lucky for me, my BRF was on the same page.
As we started running and chatting about the weeks life events and the death of Prince, we found ourselves running fast. Like 8-8:10 min/miles fast. While we tried to slow a bit because we had a lot of miles full of rolling hills ahead, our bodies just weren’t having it. We were cruising and feeling good.
I shared my first race nightmare I had with them the night before and we talked a bit about our race strategies. When we reached the bathroom and first gel point, I looked down to find our average pace was about 8:08 min/mile. What? That is crazy. Vowing again to slow down, we started off for a short 2.7 miles out before we’d turn back to run towards the chalet. We slowed momentarily but it didn’t seem to stick well.
I took a second gel around mile 15 when our friend Beth reminded me that I said I wanted to take one about then. I was feeling so good and enjoying the weather so much that I’d failed to realize it was gel time. I’m glad she reminded me. Worn out from a rough week and not feeling our pace, Beth split with us with about four miles to go. Amy and I decided to tackle our least favorite hill just one last time in this cycle.
At the bottom we met a few really nice guys who took a picture for us. We pushed our way up that hill and back to the chalet where we dropped our extra layers and grabbed some more water. Amy was a good sport and decided to run an extra two miles to match my 22. I was totally impressed on the way she pushed through getting tired and not wanting to do them to finish strong! Feeling really good, I tried to push that last mile, finish in 7:50. The best part, I felt like I could have kept going!
We totally killed our final run. My average pace ended up being 8:12 for the entire run. Holy crap, that is so fast for me, especially on hills and at conversation pace. Of course, this does not count bathroom or gel breaks which I never time during training.
I think I’m ready. I feel stronger and faster than I ever have. Honestly, I’ve never run this fast. Now I just need to rest, get rid of this damn cold I’m getting, eat well and hydrate.