I recalled my feelings after that 5K in April, the one where I had registered as a runner but ended up joining the walkers. I felt like I'd let myself down, just a little bit, by not having an "official" time. But last night, even as I was driving into the park where the event was held, I still hadn't made up my mind. Walk or run?
As it happened, a friend texted me right about then. I told her where I was and she asked, at 7:31, "Running?" I told her I hadn't decided. At 7:40 I texted her again.
The field was small. And young. Lots of kids from the local high-school track team, young parents pushing jogging strollers. There were a few middle-aged and up runners. I saw the woman who won our age group seven years ago at the John Henry Days four-mile race. The one where I was the last woman in, followed only by a man in his 70s.
The course was the same as the April race – three loops around the neighborhood adjacent to the city park. Nice and flat, and at 8 p.m. it was still light enough to see. In fact, the sun popped out just before the starting gun went off.
My strategy was to run three minutes and walk one. I had downloaded and programmed an interval timer to my phone before I left the house yesterday. (It's called the HIIT Interval Timer Program in the Google Play store, and was super-simple to set up.)
And we're off! I started toward the back of the pack, so as not to impede the progress of the young folk. And I pretty much stayed there, picking out a couple people I wanted to lap (and doing so), but not wanting to kill myself in the process. It was hard to force myself to walk those one-minute intervals, watching all those people fly past me, but in the end the plan worked.
In addition to the HIIT timer, I used MapMyRun to log my distance and pace.
I also don't know how many runners were in the women 60-to-64 age group.
But I was first! Woo hoo!
So. To sum up:
- A PR – final time was 36:48
- A blistering (for me) overall pace of 10:58
- First place among women in my age group
All in all, not a bad night!