Over the past few months, I’ve had some of the highest mileage weeks since starting running seven years ago. My primary focus was to build a solid base for Grandma’s Marathon in June and there wasn’t a single speed or tempo workout on the plan. Despite not working on pace I was still determined to make a PR (<2:13) happen in New Jersey. My goals were:
The plan was to see my family at the start, mile 3 or 4, mile 10, and the finish. We arrived at Monmouth Park by 7 and the race kicked off at 7:30 with Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” blaring from the corral speakers.
Miles 1 – 4 (9:37, 9:34, 9:47, 9:35)
For the past two weeks I had been trying to come up with a pace plan but aside from ‘run 10s for miles 1-4’ the rest was basically ‘just don’t fly and die’. My legs wanted to run 9:05/9:10 and every time I saw that on my watch, I slowed down to a 10. The result was four miles NOT at a 10min pace. My bad. Road closures (& my faster pace) were giving my family some difficulty, so they headed to a later mile to wait for me.
Miles 5 – 9 (9:41, 9:46, 9:44, 9:46, 9:41)
My sister texted to let me know they were at roughly mile 9 so I put my head down and counted down the miles until I would see those familiar faces. Mile 8 is where things have been unraveling in previous halves so I was conscious of this and didn’t let myself fall apart / give up on the possibility of a PR.
Miles 10 – 13.1 (10:11, 9:49, 9:41, 9:31)
This happens in EVERY.DAMN.RACE so I’m not even surprised, but getting a salt pill out of my FlipBelt was impossible while running. I knew I needed it so I forced myself to slow to a walk during mile 10 and sadly clocked my ONLY 10+ minute split of the entire race. So sad, could have been some beautiful splits. My legs were starting to feel the mileage at this point but with only a 5k to go, it was not the time to slow down. I saw my parents just before the finish which gave me the final boost I needed.
Official Finish Time – 2:08
My splits were oddly consistent, with the last mile being the fastest. Not sure how I executed this (honestly, still in shock) but I’m so incredibly happy with that five-minute PR.