This really is a fun course, crossing the Grand River a few times and passing several historical sites and museums during the 10 mile run. If you are relatively close to Grand Rapids, MI, I suggest you put this one on your radar for 2015.
No mile by mile recap for this race, but some overall impressions.
- Pacers can help you control your enthusiasm. I knew I was in no shape to run a PR at this race (my PR is 1:40:56 at this same race 2 years ago) so attempting to do so would have been very risky and stupid. Being reminded that the goal for this run was TRAINING and not a race influenced my decision to line up with the 11 m/m pacers. I decided I would stick to them like glue for the first 8 miles and then if I felt good, push the pace for the last 2. This worked great, with paces of 10:43, 10:36, 10:52, 11:00, 11:02, 10:53, 10:45 and 10:44 for the first 8 and then 10:11 and 9:31 (but run in 7 something because my Garmin measured short) for the last 2 miles.
- Pacers may not run how you would like to run. Look at my splits. They were clearly running MUCH faster than an 11 m/m pace for the first 3 miles. This was fine for me since I'm capable of those paces, but a lot of people dropped from this group by the 2nd aide station. I would have preferred to start slower and speed up for a negative split. I know now what to ask at the Detroit Women's Half next weekend.
- Running with friends is fun but not necessary. I started with some friends but we all had different goals and paces. This was fine and I just got lost in my music and the pretty riverside scenery.
- Non-traditional bling is fun from time to time. This is the first year the Bridge Run has offered a medal to all participants and at first, I was disappointed to see it was a key chain, but now I think it's kind of cool and it's hanging on a chain from my bling rack. The shirt turned out really nice too. It's a soft, cotton t-shirt and a little bit fitted. The color is pretty and I have enough tech shirts, so being ticked that it was cotton when I got to packet pickup was silly.
- Being only about 3 minutes off of PR pace when you weren't even trying to run fast is frustrating.
- Small races in my area mean I can run fairly well and still suck in the rankings. I finished 57/71 in my Age Group. 372/476 females and 658/788 overall. I really prefer to be in the top 50% and today I wasn't even close. I know I'm in a really fast age group, but this is ridiculous.
- I showed a lot of growth as a runner on Sunday. I had a guy on my 6 the ENTIRE race. He lined up with the pace group and when I made my move at mile 8 to take off, he matched me and stayed right on my ass. If I tried to surge, he surged too. If I pulled back, so did he. It was really pissing me off. With .1 left to go and in the finishing shoot, I slowed up and let him pass me. Beating this a-hole and getting hurt in the process was not the point today. I hope in some way that maybe I was his rabbit to a huge PR. A thank you at the finish would have been nice though.
What would you have done in that situation? Kick his ass at the finish (which I think I was capable of doing) or let him go?