I stopped by on the way home from work on Friday night and picked up my packet (and the packet of a friend). It was right at Dick's Sporting Goods in Southpark Mall. It didn't take long to pick up the packet, as it really wasn't a packet, just the race number and the t-shirt. Traffic coming back on Fairview/Tyvola to I-77 was pretty backed up though. Saturday morning I headed out about 6:30am and leisurely parked at the Southpark mall. Now when I do a running race, they seem so logistically simplistic, I feel like I must be forgetting something.
I basically just parked and walked over to the start. I was a little chilly since I was in my singlet. I was sans sherpa in the race so I couldn't take a shirt with me. I ran for about 10 minutes to warm up and did some striders.
|Yup, my Garmin started|
The nice thing was that nobody seemed to want to line up right at the start so it was easy to toe the line. Eventually the gun sounded and I took off. Like, too fast.
Yeah, a 5:33 first mile is not exactly what I had in the gameplan, but I just got excited and went with it. I actually felt pretty good coming through 5 miles under 30 minutes. The next mile was slightly downhill and I went sub 6 on that.
But by then the leader was way gone. In fact he was so far ahead, that I actually had my own pace vehicle after the 10K runners split off. It felt like I was in the lead, so that was fun. Except for the times I would catch up to the vehicle and have to start to pass off to the side, and then it would speed up and I would catch a mouthful of CO2. Not as much fun, then.
Then we had to turn onto this "trail". It was basically an old paved trail in desperate need of repair.
|The Dreaded Trail Section|
I just couldn't ge any rhythm going. One turn wasn't marked at all (no volunteers and nothing on the trail). The trail went straight and I took 3 steps past the turn before I realized I needed to turn. I guess this was foreboding. So those next 2 miles killed me, a 6:36 and a 6:31. There went any hope of a good time.
Once I got out of the trail I just tried to churn, but couldn't really get it going again and hit mile 12 in 6:12. The pace vehicle had kinda pulled off as I was passing walkers from the 10K race.
|Shoulda taken that Left turn in Albuquerque|
So I came though the finish and saw the 1:23 on the clock and it finally sunk it just how much time it had cost me.
Here. So without my 1:49, I could have possibly come home in 2nd place with a 1:21:04.
Oh well, I still would not have broken 1:20 as I had originally dreamed of. Ironically, I thought that 4th or 5th overall and first masters was attainable. So I achieved my goal there.
|Post Race Refreshments and Awards|
I got some bananas at the post race tent and too 1 of my 2 alotted Mich Ultra beers. Then did a 1 mile cooldown run. I hung around for the awards and got my money for first masters: $50 check and $50 to Dick's sporting goods.
|Bonus Training Mileage|