Great race. The best case scenario I had for myself pretty much unfolded. I was feeling about 90% over the head cold, but I think that was evened out with fresh legs from running less mileage this week than planned because I was sick. So, more or less on par.
Warmed up a couple of miles on the course with Jeff, Joe and Al. Felt warm so I shed a short-sleeved shirt I had on underneath the long-sleeved and sleeveless shirts I was wearing which turned out to be the right call.
We lined up. The starting cannon wouldn't fire so with an improvised "Ready, set, go" or something to that effect by Blaine, we were off.
The first mile is downhill and combined with race adrenaline that can be dangerous. Yeah, it was. I hit the first split in 6:18 (per the Garmin's mile marker, which was close to the race mile markers but still don't add up to the official time). Oops. Settle down, Skippy.
Conversely, much of the second mile was uphill, so scaling back wasn't too hard. This turned out to be my slowest mile, which I hit in 6:44. During this time, a lot of people were passing me. That's always mentally frustrating, but I kept reminding myself it was early. Jeff also passed me here, but I expected that from him.
2.5 miles in was the first water stop. I skipped it (as I did all of the water stations) but it was great to see Ryan working there who gave me a shout out. I hit mile three in 6:35.
Now I felt settled in and more or less at a comfortable pace. All three splits at 6:31. Calculations going in my head had me figuring on a 1:06:00 time. If that would be the case; not great, but not bad. It was what it was. Still, I had a pretty negative mindset in my head here. Just kept thinking "man, this sucks". I was worried the pace would slow down. In retrospect, there was no reason for that mindset and it was stupid. Fortunately, I later shook it off.
Saw Ian running the course here in the opposite direction. He had planned his long run to go along the course in reverse so he could cheer us on, which was a really smart idea. Swept over and gave him a high five when we passed by each other. Nice boost seeing him.
Worth noting, Jeff was a ways ahead, but still in sight. I tried to keep it that way.
Splits 6:33, 6:31, 6:33. Hills more drawn out overall now...less steep, but longer. Saw Ryan again at the 7.5 mile water stop and he shouted at me to relax my posture. He was right, I was scrunching up my shoulders a bit, so I tried to relax and be mindful of my form.
Race strategy starting to really come into play now. I was now just behind Scott H., though I didn't know it was him at the time. He was pulling me along nicely. Jeff was actually a bit closer now, as was Randy (who pulled ahead of me around mile two). I thought it was unlikely I'd catch them, but it was encouraging that I was getting closer and comfortably so.
Negative mindset was leaving with each mile. The picking folks off to being picked off ratio was in my favor. Saw Ian again.
A gradual yet grinding uphill for roughly the first half of this final mile. Jeff had pulled away again. Scott was still just in front of me. Passed another dude here. Reached the final left hand turn where a downhill meandered to the finish line behind the high school.
Tried to kick it up a notch to get Scott but he still had some gas in the tank so nothing doing. That was fine, he had pulled me along here nicely the past few miles, for which I was grateful. I talked to him after the race and he knew I was behind him which kept him running hard, so I was glad it was mutually beneficial and we both had faster times as a result.
A very, very pleasant surprise as I saw the clock as I approached the finish line. I hadn't looked at my overall time the past few miles, just the pace. I was aware I had kicked it up this final mile (6:17), but didn't think it mattered much. I thought I was still close to 1:06:00 so imagine my surprise when I watched the clock as I crossed the finish line in 1:05:07. I think my eyes actually widened in surprise.
As soon as my heart rate began to drop back down after finishing my stomach began to churn and I puked (shocker).
Got some grub (the pizza they had for the runners was awesome) and mingled with everyone afterwards. Got another pleasant surprise when I saw that I came in 33rd place overall. This race is always stacked...and despite the ideal conditions today, my time in other years past would have had me at least 10 places back from that. Not sure why that was (other than not as many of the faster folks showed up), but I'll gladly take it. Awesome day. Very pumped pretty much all of my friends also ran great races and were quite pleased with how they did. Thanks all for a fun day!
Race: Ran 10.0 miles @ 6:31/mile pace.
Official time: 1:05:07
Overall place: 33rd out of 611
Age Group (35-39): 6th out of 46
Mid 20s, sunny.
Saucony Kinvara 2, long tights, sleeveless shirt, long sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.
w/u Ran 2.0 miles @ 8:40/mile pace.
c/d Ran 1.1 miles @ 8:39/mile pace.