Well, I guess everyone needs a bad race every now and then. Today was definitely mine, and probably the only one this year other than my Winter Series 1/2 marathon when I was sick. I've had a bunch of great races this year so can't complain too much. Lots of people struggled though a few pulled off great races.
Stayed near the starting line at Dustin's in-law's house- thanks Dustin. It was very windy all evening- I woke up at 2:30 am for a bathroom break and never fell asleep again due to the wind (plus some nerves). Did a warm up mile at 5 am and it was already raining. Got to the start at 6:15, did more warm up and a bathroom break. Chose not to wear my beanie but kept the gloves- singlet got soaked almost immediately. Temp was not too cold- probably 50 deg. Chilly when combined with the rain/wind. The race started into a strong headwind with a steady rain- my shoes were soaked within a few miles. I was with a big group of bloggers at the start but couldn't find Chad, whom I had intended to run the whole race. It ended up being a very costly mistake. Kory fell at the start and got trampled but hopped up- glad he didn't get hurt worse.
First mile was 6:00 pace, and I knew right away that time goals were out the window. It didn't feel near that slow. Walter and I stuck together through the bottom of Veyo- I kept trying to hook us up with a good pack to draft off but it was mainly single people- never provided much windbreak and served only to get extra water thrown on my shoes. The pace was much slower than it should have been but I didn't want to be alone already, especially with the wind. It was very steady. Met Greg Harris on the way up Veyo and we had a group of 4-5 headed up the hill, though we were strung out across the road and not helping each other much. I didn't want to break wind for the group and neither did anyone else- we gradually slowed down until eventually a huge FRB group caught us- Cody, James, etc. I felt fine this whole way- not tired, but the wind made going much faster very difficult. I tucked in behind them and it was SO MUCH easier for the next mile. So, up to mile 11 was stage 1 of the race- slow but fairly easy. Cody told me he never expected to see me at that point in the race and that I should quit lollygagging.
At mile 11 I decided that I had better pick up the pace if I was going to make anything of the race. I took off on my own and quickly built a lead on the group. The next 2 miles were 60 sec/mile faster than the previous ones- hit the half in about 1:21:15, a good 5-7 minutes slower than I wanted. Ugh- but I could still hope for a huge negative split, a PR, and maybe even sub-6:00 pace (2:37:12). I picked off 2 guys and felt real good till about mile 14, although I was definitely fighting the wind. Hit 14 with the huge downhill and found that the wind really picked up- I went all out and only hit a 5:40. The effort was more like a 5:15 pace, which should have been sub-5:00 on that downhill. I pushed on till mile 19 and the next moderate uphill. I glanced back and saw the FRB group strung out but not too far behind me, led by Walter and James. In other words, 8 miles of hard work only bought be about 30 seconds over Walter and James. I pushed up the hill and through mile 20- by this point I could barely manage 6:00 pace and knew 2:37 was gone. I even had to stop twice to try and pull up my soaking socks which were bunching up under my feet and slowing me down. Thus ends part 2 of the race.
For part 3, I decided to just finish the race and not kill myself. Once I hit 20 I was pretty tired. I didn't hit the wall, per se, but had spent my strength fighting the wind. I slowed up a bit so James and Walter could catch me and I could work with them- they finally caught me at mile 23. We ran thru 24 together, then James started pushing the pace. I didn't care anymore- he pulled away, then Walter started pulling away a bit. I finally turned the last corner and could see the finish but honestly didn't care, other than that it meant I could finally stop soon, get my clothes, and warm up. I jogged across the finish, not pushing at all, in 2:40:58. It was still good enough for 19th place, 6th in my age group.
Overall, I started way too slow but once I did, I didn't dare push off by myself going up Veyo. Then I choose a bad place to break off since the wind picked up and I was completely alone for 12 miles. I would have been better sticking with the group through 20, then making a hard push to at least PR.
It's a pretty disappointing result. I know I am in the best shape of my life and could run a sub-2:30, maybe even as fast as 2:27 in ideal conditions on this course (though I will admit that I don't think I had much more than low 2:30's in me today, even with no rain/wind). The wind and rain obviously ruined those plans right away, but I was still hoping for a good race. Instead, I made a few strategic mistakes that really hurt me by the end. Once any chance of an even decent race was gone, I really mailed it in and stopped pushing. Disappointing. The good news is that I am hardly sore and have no blisters, so should recover quickly. There is a lot less wear and tear on the body when you slow up at mile 20.
Some bloggers had great days- Joe was happy with his race, Andy was very happy, and lots of others. Chad and Cody ran great, considering the weather. Congrats to everyone for finishing in a very tough day. And to anyone who PR'ed today, you are the stud of the world!
Splits- for the record. 6:03, 5:57, 5:54, 5:51, 11:26, 5:46, 7:01, 6:50, 6:51, 6:51, 6:11, 5:50, 5:59, 5:40, 11:33, 5:51, 6:41, 6:41, 11:52, 6:01, 13:06, 5:26, 1:25
Tangent 2- 106
[Earlier quick report]
Well, I just took a shower and am going back for the awards. But I figured I would put a quick post for anyone out there looking for some results. Don't expect to see too many happy bloggers today. The weather was... horrible... for running. Strong head wind the WHOLE way that got increasingly worse as the race progressed. Rainy the whole time. I think the winning time was 2:22 for the guys, and then no one else till almost 2:30. I think just about everyone ran at least 6 and probably 10+ minutes slower than goal pace. Will put a real race report later, but that is the quick report.