Warming up for this morning’s Wharf to Wharf race, I took note how little nervous or pumped up I was for the race. It’s not like I was just going through the motions, but well I found myself struck how nonchalant my approach was minutes away from start time. Not knowing if that was a good thing or a bad thing, I just reminded myself of the game plan: Go out in 6:25-6:30 per mile pace for the first few miles and go from there.
Last year, I ran the six mile run smart and well paced and completed it in about 39:30. This year, I figured I could do a minute faster so the goal was sub-39 minutes. The plan looked good from the opening gun. First, I had to negotiate the usually crowded, chaotic start, dodging around a couple runners who crashed to the ground. Looking at my GPS watch after what I felt was a pretty relaxed half mile and saw I was around 6:10 pace. I slowed it down slightly, coming across the first mile around 6:20.
From there, I felt reasonably comfortable covering the next few miles in 6:25-ish miles until I started running out of gas around mile four. But I held on, and while I didn’t have that much left on the 600 meter downhill finish where I usually catch a bunch of people, I came through in 38:26, good for 6:24 per mile pace, which is a sub-40 minute 10k pace if you think the Wharf to Wharf course is accurate. (I think it’s a little short.) Any how, another nice finish for me and the moral of the story is, if you don’t feel all that inspired at the start of the race, make sure you have a plan and stick to it at the beginning. The heat of the battle will often give you the motivation you need.