I wasn't a fan of the changes to the race this year. The course featured even more turns than before which made efficient running very hard to accomplish. My watch said I ran an extra 1/20th of a mile. The post race water and snacks were off to the side and back on the course side of the finish line. It was pretty hard to spot and I wound up directing several people there who saw me with water. The one redeeming factor this year was that the weather was so much better than last year's 95+ degree heat.
I got to the race early with Jennifer and we picked up our packets. It was nothing special and the shirt designs were basically the same as last year. We hung out with Natali and took some pics then ducked for cover as a quick rain shower came through. About 30 minutes before the race I went off and jogged around the parking lot to loosen up a bit. I was still feeling some of the effects of my prior 2 races so I wanted to get warm and stretch a bit. Once loose I headed back to find the girls putting their bags in gear check.
Mile 1: 6:52 - I shot out the start a little quicker than anticipated and ran a bit wildly at the start of the race. My plan was to run with a smidgen more effort heart rate wise than I did at Bastille Day. It actually took nearly 5 1/2 minutes to get up to that level even while I was still trying to get my form under control.
Mile 2: 7:10 - For most the rest of the race I had everything under control. I was breathing well and my form was pretty good. I kept maintaining the same effort and hoped to just hold on. I had started following an older guy who was about 20 feet in front of me but running around the same pace. I locked in with him and ran. My pace was slowly giving a little ground though due to all the recent race fatigue.
Mile 3: 7:06 - I kept the older guy locked in front of me and actually gained a few feet on him. We finally entered the stadium for a lap on the field around 2.5 miles in. Rounding the field to come back out I started to pick up speed anticipating that the end was near. I was ready to pass the older guy, but he cut to the inside when I went to pass so I found a new gear somewhere to kick it into and sped past him. I actually heard an audible groan come from behind me.
Mile 0.16: 57.1 (5:57 min/mile pace) Like I said I somehow found a new gear to kick things into and went speeding towards the finish. I ran into an absolute wall of wind but kept fighting. I thought I was on pace for a PR, but didn't realize how badly I ran the tangents. When I saw the finish I knew it would be close and sprinted with all I had left.
Total Time: 22:04 - I missed my PR by just 4 seconds. I had run through the finish by about 30 feet and stopped to put my hands on my knees and just shook my head while catching my breath. I had not expected to run so well considering the fatigue, but was a little disappointed to come so close only to miss it.
The race actually had a station set up so you could get a little printout "receipt" of your results. I went and punch my bib number in and was a little shocked at what I saw. I finished 3rd in my age group! I never placed before and knew they were giving medals to top 3 in each age group so I was definitely excited. It also said I placed 17th overall (official results actually have me as being 16th). It turned out to be my best performance compared to the rest of the field that I've ever had.
|The numbers are misleading... the totals are those who finished when I retrieved my results|