RICHMOND, Va. -- With a half-mile left in the race, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
I decided to kick to the finish line, something I never have done before, at least from that far out. With .3 mile left in the race, I found sub-7:00/mile speed. With just .05 mile left, I found sub-6:00/mile speed.
The effort was worth it, since I broke by a second my personal record for a 4-mile race that was set in the June 18, 2011 Father's Day 4-Miler at Turner Field. It also broke a dry spell of more than 2.5 years since the last time I had logged a personal record in any distance. It also was the first time since the week of Jan.6-12 that I've run more than 25 miles in a week.
It also was a good day for the wife, who placed first in her age division. It's the third time she's placed in the last three races, including a first place showing in the last race.
When I knew we were going to be in the area, I started to scan for races. We found this one and how could we not support a children's hospital? So we signed up.
When we got to our in-laws yesterday, I kind of felt lazy. It felt far to drive from the suburbs to Richmond and I kind of wanted to sleep in instead of having to get up early to make the drive. But we did it.
Because this race comprised walkers and runners, we did something we usually never do -- we stood about three rows behind the starting line. So when the start came, we were a-running.
As to be expected, the start was pretty fast. The second mile was even faster as the course went downhill. For Mile 3, we slowed our pace a bit -- this wasn't the Indy 500 after all and my wife has not run very much recently.
In the past, I would have waited until I got as close as I could before sprinting to the finish. Today I just wanted to see if I could do it.
This was a well-put together race that I'm sure will be on our radar in the future, if our schedules make it possible. Not 2.5 hours after the race started we received e-mails detailing our overall place (20th), our age division place (3rd) and our pace (7:41/mile). It's a nice touch, especially when you might wait for days just to see results get posted.
Time: 9 a.m.
Temp: 66 degrees (83 percent humidity)
Gear: Technical T-shirt, short (CS yellow), shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 29/A.