I hate to say this, but I think I'm a long distance snob. Part of it was because I got shin splints if I took the first two miles too quickly, back when I first started training. Part of it is because I loved the endorphin rush I got around mile four, and then the second one around mile seven.
Hard to experience in a three mile race.
Today I ran a three mile race, and believe it or not, I PRed in a big way. Not so surprising with respect to the race, because- hey, it was my first three mile race, so I could have done it backwards and still PRed.
But I ran the first mile at 7:07. Which beat my previous mile PR by about 21 seconds.
When I heard the count I thought "OMGWTF I'M GOING TOO FAST AND I'M GONNA CRASH AND BURN" and I was kind of convinced that I'd get shin splints and my last two miles would be at a 15 minute pace. So I eased up a bit, and spent about half of the second mile trying to slowly catch a couple of friends of mine who I saw only a few hundred feet in front of me.
No shin splints, thankfully.
I caught up with them, chatted for a bit, and finished the second mile in 7:24, which would have been a new mile PR if I hadn't run the first mile. And I thought... "Hm. A mile or so to go. I have a mile left in me. I wonder how fast it'll be?"
Also, I experienced something curious a couple of times when I was running. I think I was in "flow" whatever that means. But it was like I was entranced. My breathing was a lot more regular and even, and I could feel my footfalls were lighter. I have no idea if I was running faster at those times, or not. But it felt really good.
It was great to have some friends there, both on the course and to hang out with and cheer for those who got awards. If I hadn't had pacers, I'm sure my pace would've dropped significantly from 7:24, maybe to the eights. So, much kudos to GG and GG!
On the minus side, I really can't say a think about the neighborhood that I ran though. People said that there were a lot of pretty houses and yards and stuff, and I don't remember any of it. I remember waving to the volunteers and thanking them, a hill, a couple of turns, a golf course and the finish line.
A very new, very different race experience, though Dexter-AA was pretty close. My final mile was at 6:52, a new mile PR by about 36 seconds. My final time was 21:24, according to my garmin, with an average pace of about 7:08, about a minute faster than my goal.
And yes, I'm geeked. :) I guess endorphins aren't necessarily attached to miles, ya'know?