54 degrees. On March 7. No wind, clear skies, and 54 degrees. Did I say it was March 7? It was an incredible day, allowing me to go with shorts and a t-shirt without a chill. The race also started at 11:00, allowing for a very gradual morning of eating, stretching, warming up, etc. I could get used to these late starts.
My approach to the race was to be a rabbit for Jeff. He's been 20:20 to 20:40 the last three years, and really wanted to go under 20. I beat him at the Cape 10 mile race after running with him for the first seven miles. He's been training really well, and I wanted to see him break that barrier.
And that's all a load of crap.
I wanted a good time, something under 20, but I also wanted to beat him- in a friendly, ego-driven, collaborative rivalry sort of way. At the start he asked me how fast I would go out. Knowing we had to be under 6:25 average, and adrenaline would get me going, I said somewhere around 6:10. The horn blew, and I got caught up in the surge. At about 1/4 mile, I looked at my Garmin and just about fell over- the current pace read 5:15! Whoa, there! Sure, the buildings could be friggin' with it, but even allowing for 30 seconds, it was way, way too fast. So I eased up a bit, actually feeling pretty good. At the 1/2 mile, I was at 2:53. I hit the big hill at .7, and all of these short, skinny rabbits flew by. One guy was in bare feet. Damn that gravity thing. Mile one came in at 6:05. With a big, slow hill, that was fast. It was around that time when I heard Jeff huffin' and puffin' behind me. We continued on shoulder to shoulder to the turn around and back. The whole time I was wishing he would just surrender. I hurt all over, and had little interest in a battle. But I continued on. Mile 2, 6:23.
Then we got to go back down the hill. You'd think we would have an advantage going back down given our size. But Mr. Garmin doesn't show that. We barely went any faster than on the flats. About 1/2 way down, we heard this rumbling herd behind us. They gobbled up up, spit me out the back, and Jeff tried to hand on. To his credit, he didn't let up at all. Mile 3, which included the down hill, 6:23.
Jeff came in at 19:13, crushing previous times. I finished in 19:27, my best by about 25 seconds. Granted, I've only done a few of these, but I'm pleased.
Takeaways? I really need to work on my hills, especially my downhills. I need to find a flat 10K in the next couple of months. I've never broken 40 min, and know I can do it now.
And as for the post-race nutrition, courtesy of Brian Boru and Allagash....