A couple of things keep me humble about my race today:
First, a 11 year old kid blew me away by two minutes; in a four miler, that's a pace 30 seconds faster. I don't know about you, but 30 seconds per mile is an awful lot. Asking three seconds less per mile out of myself would have been an awful lot.
Second, the field (at least, in my age group) wasn't as strong. Of the five people who had times that would have beaten mine last year, none showed up this year. Of course, other people did, but when I looked at last year's results before the race I thought I had zero chance.
But I was pleased. I got within my goal time range (26-28 min). I pushed myself, though not too hard, and my last mile was my fastest. I only really dropped pace when I hit hills. I started with about fifty to seventy people in front of me and realized in the first minute or so that it was a mistake- I passed a few when I kicked my pace up a bit and passed a bunch more when we first hit the hills.
I kept my form fluid. I didn't let my breathing get too out of rhythm with my foot falls. I tried to keep my focus on the race, and run my own race rather than try to keep up with someone else. And it went well, especially since this was my final blow out week before beginning taper for the Umstead marathon.
Time- 27:20 (7:30 PR!)