I love hills!
Striders 10 mile today. I warmed up 1 mile at 5:30 am, then picked up Cody and drove to Ogden. We were worried during the drive- it was snowing very hard and windy. We were only going 50 mph on the freeway, and sometimes slower. Then we hit Ogden and the snow stopped- much better. Temp was just below freezing (based on a lot of ice on the course), warm enough for my green shorts (though I would regret it). Warmed up just over 2 more miles with Cody.
At the start, I was surprised to see Adam RW there- didn't know he was coming. Walter, Chad, Ben, and Tim were also there- the usual suspects. There was also a rumor of some unknown college guy. The course if very challenging- 1.5 miles down, 3 miles rolling hills, then a 2.5 mile killer uphill. Killer up. Then 3 more miles mainly down, but with a small uphill at mile 9. At the start, the college guy (wearing pink) took off with Adam and Walter not far behind him, but none of them are in the series. Chad, Ben, Cody and myself had learned not to go out too fast at the 10k, so we bunched up and ran a lot slower than the 10k for the first 4 miles. Here is a mile by mile breakdown:
Mile 1- 5:57- Running pretty easy with Chad, Ben, Cody- Pinky, Adam and Walter really pulled away fast.
Mile 2- 5:32- nice downhill
Mile 3- 5:48- rolling downhill. We pass 3 miles a full 45 seconds slower than the 10k, but are ok with it because we all know the race doesn't start till after mile 4.
Mile 4- 6:00- rolling uphill- Chad and I get a few steps on the other 2. I timed Adam and Walter and found they were 35 and 30 seconds ahead of us, respectively. Huge gap. Pinky was even further, at least a minute ahead. Never saw him again.
Mile 5- 6:37- Tailed Chad up the hill. Feeling very relaxed. Weird to think we only had 1.2 miles to go last race at this point. Working hard, but not stressed- just concentrating on even breathing. Avg pace at this point was 5:59/mile.
Mile 6- 6:31- I pass Chad somewhere going up this hill. I expected him to stick with me, but he falls off a few feet. I can hear him breathing, though.
Mile 7- 6:56- Last bit of the hill, with some killer steep spots and some very ice spots- I was happy to be sub-7:00. I had gradually watched Walter and Adam fall back- I passed Walter at the end of this mile and caught up to Adam (they were only a few second apart). For some reason, Adam got thrown in a loop seeing me, thinking Walter was catching him. I tailed him for a minute.
Mile 8- 5:02- I had to look at my watch 4 times on this split. Downhill the whole mile, but not a real steep downhill. Gradual. I was absolutely shocked how fast it was. I had passed Adam but only put about 5-10 seconds on him. It felt good to be doing 5 min miles at the end of a race rather than dying- this is probably my fastest mile in years.
Mile 9- 5:32- still downhill. Adam's footsteps gradually faded. I was heating up, and my head felt heavy for some reason. I started debating if dropping my beanie and gloves would shave off any time. 53:59 cumulative time- was sub-60 min possible?
Mile 10- 5:53- This mile starts with one last nasty, yet short, uphill. It hit me hard. Easily twice as difficult as the whole 2.5 mile uphill. Mean booger. I dropped my hat and gloves. I glanced back a few times to see where Adam was. Reached the top of the hill, then downhill. At this point, however, a minivan turned right into me. Really ticked me off- I actually had to jump on the curb to miss being hit. She never even saw me. I touched the stinking thing. Anyways, I finished with a strong kick (had to slow down for an ice patch) and broke 1 hour. Very happy. Great race.
Adam came in ~15 second behind me, then Walter and Chad and Cody and Ben. 2-6 places for FRB. Nice run by all on a very difficult course. Good job, guys.
I am very, very happy with my run. I felt great, I love downhills and don't fear uphills, so this course is as perfect as it gets for me. Felt good on the uphill and still had some legs for the downhill at the end. I am glad the pack didn't go out too fast, which ended up working perfectly strategy-wise. I don't think I could have run a better race- just a good day. Somedays things just work out well, and today was one. Probably one of the best 5 races of my career.
4 mile cool down with Chad, Cody, and Adam. I wanted 65 miles this week but then missed Monday. Still came close.
Post-shower note- I'm too worked up to sleep, so I started wondering how this compared to last year's race with a deeper field. My time would have put me in 8th (5th in the series), which is great. Paul was untouchable, of course, but I would have been only 50 seconds behind Sasha. But their course was short- if you trust the GPS's and convert the time, I would have been 0.7 seconds behind! I never thought I would be that close. Interestingly, the group last year appears to have gone out very fast and suffered a bit- my miles 6-8 were 45 seconds faster than Sasha's! To be fair, he was sick last year and not 100%, but this still gets me excited for the upcoming races this year! We have a good group and it will be very competitive for the rest of this series.