The Moonlight 4 Miler is an evening race in Richmond held on the Thursday nearest the full moon in August. It starts at 7:30 PM and is more “twilight” than “moonlight”. My first year of running, 2009, I didn’t believe I could make it 4 miles, so it was my first race where I volunteered. I manned a water stop with some pre-teens who were getting community service points for school. In 2010 they changed the course from a neighborhood to an office park full of rolling hills. I decided I was up for the challenge and ran the 4 miles (2 of which were in a downpour) in 54:44.
I have kept a steady running schedule over the past two years and at the beginning of this year decided try to lose at least 50lbs of extra fat that is on my body. As of now, I am down about 27lbs since February.
Plugging in my 5k PR from June into the McMillan calculator, it spat out the estimated finish time of 47:51 for a 4M. I scoffed at it, thinking that was insanely too fast for me. I set my time goal as sub 52:00 and a long reach of sub-50:00.
The weather was cooling off by 7:30 to a brisk 80*. Yes, brisk compared to the 90*+ we have had even at 7PM. More importantly the humidity was very low. We lined up after the kids race was done and were off!
Rolling hills. This race is full of rolling hills. I kept psyching myself out seeing the uphills on the other side of the street I knew I would have to conquer on my way back through the loop course. I can say I powered through every down and up. I did not stop once to walk even though I toyed with the idea of walking the first tenth of every mile after the first full mile.
Everything seemed to be going well. In the second mile one of my Half Marathon Training Team coaches saw me from the other side of the road and yelled, “Go Penguins!!!” at me (our team is the Penguins). It was a little boost that kept me going up the hill to finish out mile two.
I felt confident the entire time. No panic at all. Not even when I just so happened to look down at my watch at exactly the 5k point and saw that the time it read was one second off from my 5k PR. I knew I had it in me to do another mile at that same clip.
I finished with a Garmin time of 47:42. Nine seconds faster than McMillan predicted. Six minutes and 58 seconds faster than last year’s official time. Overall average pace of 11:43.
Garmin info: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/105797058
Mile 1 – 11:46
Mile 2 – 11:36
Mile 3 – 11:53
Mile 4 – 11:47
.07 – :39
The race was followed by FREE ICE CREAM! MMMM Orange sherbet! It hit the spot. I talked with my rabbit, the same woman who I was vying with in the last 5k series. She beat me this time and I let her know it! I guess it was payback for that last race where she couldn’t catch me.
Also, I was high fived right before crossing the finish line by a man I see at races who wears very tiny American flag split shorts and is quite boisterous.
I think I have a lot of re-evaluation to do with myself and my abilities. I seem to not think that I can accomplish the goals of where my skill set should be. For my November half marathon, I am hoping to go sub 3:00. I am nervous about putting that in my head as a goal.