Nothing like a race

Nothing like a race to see how your training is going.  This weekend I ran in the second annual Cane Field Classic–a four mile run thru a cane field here in South Louisiana.  The short version of the story is that it was a very good run for me–I mostly descended the four miles and ran my heart out on the last one.  The longer version of the story is below as are a couple pictures that I took.

I remember hearing about this race last year and all the fun folks had tromping thru the mud as it had been a wet week. We weren’t so lucky, or maybe we were, this year as the fields were bone dry actually leaving several inches of sand-like dirt on the race course.  Started the first mile pretty easy and felt very good.  I let the pack go and settled into my pace and I didn’t realize how fast I was going until I hit the one mile mark.  Mile 2 I stepped it up a bit and started catching up to people that had passed me on the first mile–a bit of a rush for someone who is new at the passing thing!  But then I hit mile 3 and realized that maybe I had picked up my pace a little too soon…but I held on as best I could.  When I had about 1.1 miles left I just opened it up and began to run like I was on the treadmill doing my tempo run.  I know on the treadmill that I can hold a 10 min mile pace for at least 15 minutes, so I just ran and hoped my legs wouldn’t let me down.  Some time during that last mile I realized that I could match my original 5K time from when I first started running a couple years ago and that gave me more motivation to keep going–four miles at the time it used to take me to run 3!  Woohoo!!  When I got close to the finish line my peeps where there cheering me on and that gave me one last burst of energy to run it out.

Garmin time for the 4 miles was 45:36.26 which is a 11:24 mile pace.  My mile splits were mile 1) 11:53, mile 2) 11:21, mile 3) 11:31, and mile 4) 10:53.  It’s a PR for me as it’s my first four mile race, but also a victory because of the 10:53 last mile!!  I am getting faster both on the treadmill AND in the outdoors!!

Do you add races into your training?  If you do, what have you learned from doing so?

cane field

sunrise over the cane field