While I was on Active.com, I found a local race this weekend called 4th Down and 4 (Miler). The proceeds benefited the local college's cross country team.
I absolutely love local races. It was at 11 AM (to let it warm up a bit) and it was no more than 10 minutes from me. I left at 10:30, got there at 10:45, put my number on and still had a few minutes to stretch before the start.
It was a largely flat course, with just a small hill at the beginning and around mile 4. There were over 70 runners there--with 25 degree temperatures. I love it! I think you have to be proud of a group of people that can get up on a Sunday morning and bang out 4 miles.
As with all races, I started out faster than I normally would. I was in the 8:20 pace, which is about 25 seconds faster than my normal pace. I was feeling good and had warmed up so I just went with it.
I stuck behind a small group at the beginning and then started to feel better and better. So I kept moving up (or is it that others kept slowing down?). When I looked at my Garmin and it said 3.2 miles, I knew I wanted to pick it up. I had originally planned to just do a fartlek to the end of a building and then drop back down. But, when I got to the end of the building I still felt good, so I kept the pace (7-minute miles or so). And then I saw the finish in the distance and I still felt good so I kept the pace. I finished the race in a near sprint at 31:48.
That's definitely a PR for me (though I haven't done any other 4 mile races). It ended up being about 3.94 miles, but still, that's less than 8-minute miles on average. I was very pleased with myself.
We went inside and had a raffle. I was the first person called (got a gym bag) and then I was called again near the end and picked up some Double-Stuff Oreos (should go well this afternoon for the game). And then the awards ceremony came. I knew I had run well, but didn't expect to win anything.
Lo an behold, I came in 3rd in my age group (20-29). The second place guy was a full 8 minutes faster than me! Either way, I got a glass (see above left--not actually a flame; it was just the light) and a bag of chips.
So that was a successful morning. I burned calories, which I'll put back on (and then some) this afternoon for the game. And now I have a glass to drink from. Woo hoo!