I had waited so long for this day. The Big House Big Heart 5K. Finish on the 50 yard line inside Michigan Stadium! From the moment I saw the article in the Ann Arbor News back in June, I was so there for this race. I'm a Michigan grad and football fan, so I could simply not pass up the opportunity to set foot on the hallowed ground inside the Big House.
I had a specific goal in mind: to finish under 26:00. Otherwise I just wanted to have fun. And fun was had! It was a beautiful day for running. Cool, dry, and still. I had on the Garmin, ready to put it to the test for the first time. I took Fritz's advice and set it to "Auto Lap" in one-mile increments so it would keep track of my pace per mile. It worked beautifully. Thanks for the hint!! It would have worked more beautifully if I hadn't accidentally fumbled at the finish line and double-hit the start/stop button without realizing it, so I stopped and then restarted the timer...I noticed I had done so after about 2 minutes had passed. That made for an interesting pace graph when I downloaded the race info into the Garmin Trainer program at home later. Oh well...learning experience!
I reached my goal of finishing under 26:00. I finished in 25:28, better than I had anticipated, and finished 28th out of 196 in my age group. 8:11/mile average pace! According to my Garmin I ran mile splits of 8:10, 8:04, and 8:14. I didn't really feel like I was overly stressing myself. It was a good hard workout but I wasn't left utterly drained and dazed at the end.