|Getting into the spirit of things at last year's Shuffle|
My current 8K PR is 44:12, which is about an 8:53 pace. I set this PR at the 2012 PAWS Run For Their Lives - so it's been awhile. Granted, at the time I was at the tail end of my Chicago Marathon training cycle. I was also about 15 pounds heavier. Basically, a lot of things have changed since then.
My hope, as discussed with Pete (aka the master of race strategy), is to run a negative split - or at least an even split.
Even though I've had very good success on the rare occasions I managed to execute a negative split, I still get terrified during the first mile or two. I think I fear starting out too slowly and then not being able to pick it up later on. (This has happened in training, particularly during long runs.)
That aside, here's my "perfect-world" plan:
Mile 1: Start out easy, maybe around a 9:00-9:10 pace. Don't let the crowd pressure get to me.
Miles 2-4: Try to maintain around an 8:45-9:00 pace, gradually working down closer to 8:45 or better with each subsequent mile.
After the 4-mile marker: Try to pick it up as best as possible. In the final 0.5 mile, gun it and hold on for dear life!!!
Pace strategy aside, I am also thinking about running by feel instead of relying on the Garmin. I know my Garmin's readings will likely be thrown off by all the tall buildings downtown. Plus, having to run through that tunnel at Columbus and Wacker at the course start always messes things up. So it would probably behoove me to take my Garmin with a grain of salt, regardless.
I am nervous about this weekend. At the same time, I am trying not to put too much pressure on myself. After all, we do these races for fun, right?