I SO TOTALLY ROCKED the Shamrock 15K this morning. My main points of anxiety were a) I haven't run more than 8 miles at a time since TWO SUMMERS AGO (geez) and b) I haven't trained hills at all and this course had a doozy of a hill, a long 2.5 mile calf buster. But: calves intact! No muscles busted!
I flew through the course. I ended up finishing in roughly 1:22 (according to my Garmin; official results are still pending). That's an 8:41/mi average, which is astonishing to me considering the hill and the first mile, when I was running at best a 9:15. 8:41!!! That's only about 10 seconds slower than my ordinary pace on my mid-week 3.5 milers. That is awesome. I regret not hitting the lap button for each mile -- I'd love to know how fast I ran the last three miles, in order to compensate for how much I surely slowed running up the hill. Maybe faster than 8:00/mi?!
Out of curiosity this afternoon I went back and looked up my race results from the only other 15K race I've ever run, the 2004 Utica Boilermaker. I had been training that year too, albeit in a much more lackadaisical way. I had never had a distance running coach and I was still figuring out whether or not I could even convince myself to be a distance runner. I had not yet run a marathon. My time? 1:47:17 -- an 11:31/mi average. WHOA!
So basically I feel like a freaking rockstar right now. I'm actually in BETTER shape than I realized. When does that happen?? It made me begin to wonder if there could ever be a BQ in my future. The Boston qualifying time for women ages 18-34 is a 3:40, or roughly an 8:24/mi. I can sustain that over 4 miles but it would obviously take a lot more work to maintain it for a whole marathon. And of course that would mean, uh, running a qualifying marathon. I don't have a marathon planned in my future, and in fact I had decided to focus on smaller distances this year. But I'm perfectly on track right now to run a strong marathon in the fall...
I should say, though, that I'm not as much of a rockstar as the two people (there might have been more) who ran the entire race barefoot.