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?