For the last few weeks, I've been trying to work on dropping my times down a bit. It's not that my times have been terrible, but I still want to get to the point where I'm completely comfortable averaging about 20 seconds a mile faster than I did last year. That sounds like a lot, but after not training much last year, I think it's definitely doable.
As a team this year, we're trying to break the 24 hour mark for the race. Last year we finished at around 25 hours and we've lost a couple quick people since then. Still, while I think it would take a lot to do it, I'd say 24 hours is in reach. There's just one problem- as a team we need to average a 7:15 mile.
I figure I'm right around the middle of the pack on the team speed wise, so that means I should be right around that 7:15 mark if I'm going to hold up my end. Typically, I average around a 7:30 comfortably, so 7:15 isn't that big of a difference. So far in my training, I've been right around a 7:15 for the 3.25 mile loops, which isn't bad, but doesn't fill me with a ton of confidence. You see, I'm going to have to average a 7:15 mile for almost 7.5 miles and I don't think I can do that just yet.
So on Tuesday, I went out after work absolutely determined to smash that 7:15 minute per mile time. I don't know what came over me exactly, but from the moment I started running, everything was clicking. I've never made it up the first hill so fast in my life and the momentum carried on for nearly the entire run. I'm hoping that this was a result of all my training and not just a freak thing, but I can't remember really feeling tired the entire run. It was an amazing feeling. Despite all this, I doubted I was going to break my previous best time of 23:05. When I had run that a week earlier, I felt like I was really in the groove.
So when I finished the run and looked at my time, I was shocked- 22:03. I had beaten my best time by over a minute. Not only that, but my mile average was around 6:45. Ridiculous. I can't remember the last time I ran that fast. It felt pretty good once I recovered and I'm hoping that this run will be something I can build on.