The morning got off on the wrong foot when Kate and I pulled up and I realized I left my backpack at home. Crap!!! Fortunately, I was already wearing most of what I had hoped to run in, but in the backpack were a couple of other running jackets and a favorite pair of gloves. I had planned on running in just a long sleeved shirt over a short sleeved one, but if I would need a jacket, I'd be screwed. Fortunately, I had another pair of gloves in my car. Mad props to Kate for keeping my head in check and assuring me I had all I need and was fine.
Checked in, and Al, Andy and I ran a warm-up. Fortunately, this verified that I would be fine without a jacket. Whew. That lowered my stress level. Got in some stride work, butt kicks and high knees and it was soon time to race.
|Andy, Al, me and Scott.|
I was running without a watch. I have a Timex Run Trainer coming in tomorrow, but decided to run this one by feel as an experiment. However, I still wanted to know what I was running on occasion. Mile one is downhill and very fast. When we hit the marker, I knew Al wasn't far behind me so I called out "Split?" over my shoulder.
"6:20!" Al replied.
I answered with a thumbs up.
"Wait, that's my split. You were a little faster."
Another thumbs up.
"You were probably 6:18 or so."
"Got it, thanks Al."
"No wait, actually you were probably about 6:16. Maybe 6:17. It all depends if you look at it..."
"Got it, Al. Thank you."
|Courtesy: Maine Running Photos|
Horrible form. Shoulders too high. Need to relax.
Right around here, I linked up with a really nice fellow named Ward. This guy was great and I owe him for setting the tone early in the race. We briefly exchanged goals which were similar, but I could tell by his breathing he had more to give (he ended up killing it with a big negative split). Anyway, we worked together and shortly afterwards were running with two other folks. I knew one of them, Phil, and had seen the other guy around. We had a great pack going here, pulling each other along.
Pace is remaining steady and fast. I wasn't sure how fast, but I wanted to hang with this pack and I felt I could hold it for a while without trashing the later miles. Bit of a risk, but it paid off very well.
Just before mile 5, the pack was breaking up a bit. There was a clock here and it read 31:51 when I passed (6:23/mile). I remember this easily because calculations were flying in my head. I was 39 seconds ahead for finishing with a 1:05:00 time. Nice.
As we were coming up on the sixth mile, I could see fellow Trail Monster Andy in the distance. He had been well out of sight before. Hmmm. However, there was a more immediate and attainable target. Last March at the Midcoast Half Marathon, I remember catching a guy in a patterned purple shirt late in the race. I easily recognized this shirt and knew it was him (talked with him afterwards, really nice guy and it was him). Worked to pass him and I did.
Still holding pace and it was hard work, but I knew I was fine. No signs of the wheels falling off. I knew I was giving it all I had while pacing it well. Sweet. Leap frogged a few times with one of the guys from the pack I was in before.
Passed the third woman and concentrated on just keeping it going. Mile 8 is a beeyatch, thanks to a long, grinding uphill that seems magnified this late in the race. Andy kept getting closer and closer. I knew I'd likely run out of real estate before I caught him but I made it a goal to see how close I could get.
Clock was set up at the end of mile 9. I forget what it said, but it showed that I was going to be significantly under my 1:05:00 goal time. I was pumped.
|Courtesy: Maine Running Photos.|
About a tenth of a mile to go.
Top of the hill and that sharp left turn that precedes a downhill to the finish line just a few tenths of a mile away. Ahhh. Let loose but there was no catching purple shirt guy but also nobody nipping at my heels.
Crossed the finish line in 1:03:45. Way better than last year's 1:05:07. I figured I would probably run 1:04:45-ish today so really nice to beat that by a full minute. Also a positive split by only three seconds.
Andy, Al and I went for a cooldown run and exchanged war stories. Very fun to recap the race with them. Definitely an awesome day!
Ran 10.0 miles @ 6:23/mile pace.
Official time: 1:03:45
Overall placing: 24th out of 611.
AG (40-44): 4th of 44
Mid 20s, overcast, light snow flurries.
Saucony Kinvara 3, long tights, long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt, beanie, gloves.