So onto part 3, the final leg of the Tour de Pain series! In all honesty, I was absolutely terrified about the 1 Mile porion of this race. I have never just run 1 mile, and certainly never raced 1 mile, so I was nervous about my abilty to hold a decent pace for a mile.
John went with me and we headed downtown early to watch each of the 4 heats go off and see the finishers of each as I warmed up. My only goal was to finish 1 mile in uner 8 minutes. When I do 1600s during my track workouts I work to make it around 7:55 so I was hopeful that I would make it, but despite, my fresh legs for the first 2 races, I was starting to feel it by the time race #3 rolled around.
When I lined up at the start line, I got as close to the front as I could, only about 2 rows back, and I vowed to hold on to that group for dear life, and if I could this would be the fastest, most painful 7:xx minutes of my life.
I started off really quick, and kept waiting to crash, but when I hit the 1/2 mile point and I was still alive, I finally let myself look at my Garmin and I saw 6:xx, OMG! I never in my wildest dreams thought I had a shot at a sub-7:00 minute mile, before the start I was doubting a sub-8:00, but my watch was saying otherwise. I pushed with what I had at the time, with about .2 to go, I realized I could make it in under 7 minutes. I worked hard the whole race to channel my inner Penny and beat 7 minutes which seemed more and more possible with each passing second.
By the skin of my teeth (again) I finished in under 7:00 minutes and I have never been so proud of anything in my life! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I could run a mile in under 7 minutes, and now I am already plotting to break 6:00 the next time I try this. Races like this are what leave me yearning more and coming back through all the pain (which there was plenty of today).
So to recap the Tour de Pain race series- it was Awesome! I finished all 3 races (8.1 Miles) in 1:08:19 or an 8:26 pace, pretty impressive. I really enjoyed this challenge, and was able to set a PR and beat my goals for all 3 parts of this race. I have a bit more confidence going into the last 10 weeks of this training cycle, and I am certain my pain threashold is a bit higher now.
Despite finishing 5th in the first 2 parts of the race, I finished 3rd in my age group for the overall race seried, I was floored to see this, and even skipped the awards ceremony last night for a movie because I was convinced I had finished no higher than 4th. I was pleasantly surprised to learn I had finished 3/38, that is the not me at all, but I was SO happy to see that! This morning I also got a text that their was a picture of me in the paper from the race! There is a shot of me stopping my Garmin at the end of my 1 mile race in today's paper titled " Run 'Til it Hurts" it was a good close up shot, and it pretty much made my day! So for those out there looking for a fun race series, this was it- 3 Races, 90 degrees, in 24 hours- Awesome!