Coming off the Boston Marathon and then bringing home a new puppy, you can imagine how motivated I have been to run or workout or really do much of anything that isn't playing with the puppy. I blew off Tuesday's track workout and had low mileage all week, pretty much just ignored the fact that I was racing Saturday.
But as it always does, time marched forward and before I knew it I was rushing to get out of the house, later than usual (have we mentioned the puppy!?!?). Danielle and I got in a decent warm up, ~3 miles part of it with Lat ands Alice (who loves sushi). A few strides and we were on the line. Someone asked me my plan/goal and I said I would be happy to get under 17. As I said it, I realized that was probably, pretty aggressive considering the uphill first mile and legs which were feeling about as dead as you might expect.
I set my garmin on 5:30 pace and we were off, I wanted to stay pretty aggressive in the first mile, knowing that the most of the last mile was straight downhill. The lead pack of Paul, Marchinko, Popple, Hovis and BMac, took off and I settled in on Mike Moran's shoulder and worked on the early uphill. Creason pulled up on me and I stayed with him, we had a nice little pack, through the mile around 5:32.
Did my best to stay strong and increase the pace after the hill of a first mile. Creason and Moran disappeared and it was me Billy and Richard Harris coming up 5th street.
Rollin' down 5th st.
Thanks to Christi Carter for the photos
Harris seemed to be pushing the pace just a bit so I made sure to match it. Coming up 5th I saw Chris and Sarah outside to cheer, so I surged just a bit to be leading my mini pack as I went by. Billy and Harris seemed unimpressed, so surged again just before getting to C&S and ran to the side of the road to get high fives and throw off the vib that I was feeling great. That lasted for about 10 seconds and then Harris got real. Second mile in 5:24 (10:56). Pretty much at the mile marker Harris broke free and I couldn't match. I worked hard that last mile but it seemed like Harris was flying, he was gone, the battle was on with Billy who was holding strong on my shoulder.
The last mile I felt dead, but the downhill brought me home fast as expected. I never knew exactly where Billy was, one step behind me or five? I could hear him and I know he was giving it his all, so I was basically just running scared to the finish. Third mile: 5:15 (16:11), last .13 about :38. Finished 16:49, 8th overall (subtract a minute from Beigay in the results, still 17:25 with the baby jogger!), third in the age group behind Bmac and Harris. Two questions: (1) since when is Harris in my age group!?; (2) top 3 overall of small races is fine, but for the GPx races it is a little ridiculous. Brad Popple runs 16:16 and get an age group award, Billy finished in my customary position (4th in the AG) running 16:52!
After finishing I tracked back as always to catch the end of Danielle's race, she was looking strong but locked in a battle with Michelle. She was a half step ahead as she passed me and I did my best to cheer her in. She was a step ahead on the last turn and held that despite a really gutty effort from Michelle. It is really good for Danielle to be pushed like that and respond. The focus will be on getting her short distance speed back now that she is actually starting to recover from her injured foot.
Danielle and Michelle's finish
thanks to Sandy McKeon for the D's photos
Fast and Pretty podium, Alice Danielle Michelle 1,2,3!
After the race we snagged some GREAT(literally great) Harvest Bread and cooled down with Danielle, Lat Alice, Michelle and a bunch of other CRC peeps and then home to Max. I was very happy with this race, not happy with it "all things considered" but just happy with it period. I think I will always be happy to go under 17, sure I would like to be faster but I am appreciative of where I am. During the lead up to a race it is good to covet faster times, but after a hard effort I am trying to take a little time to appreciate the effort. Then... on to the next one!