ENOUGH WITH THE SMALL TALK. HOW'D IT GO?
Seriously, this was my best race ever. I finished in 1:02:52, 5 seconds ahead of my PR from Too Cold to Hold 2011 and 4:21 faster than this same race last year. It was a few degrees warmer for last year's run, but that accounts for a tiny portion of the drop, if any. It may no longer be unreasonable to think that on a 50-degree day, I could break an hour at this distance. Never would have imagined.
DID YOU WIN?
I'm still awaiting confirmation that any of this even happened, officially. The results are posted and I'm not on them. I've e-mailed the link to my Garmin results; hopefully they can find me. Omitting anyone else who might've been left out, I was 4th of 87 in my age group and 27th of 1049 overall. I beat a couple of my nemeses and only lost to one female runner.
HOW'D THAT HAPPEN?
I started comfortably, determined not to be zapped by a fast start like last year. But when I crossed the 5K mat in 21:14, 4 seconds quicker than a year ago, I got worried. All this business about running a better race was out the window already, eh?
Well, no. I kept waiting for the fade to come and it never did. I was through 10K in 42:13, 7 seconds faster than my stand-alone 10K PR (which is still my softest by quite a bit). I wasn't thinking about a 15K PR; in fact I hadn't even considered the 10K PR until typing that just now. I just knew I'd be safely in the 1:05s at worst, and I'd be more than happy with it. Only when I got close enough to the finish to hear the female winner being announced in 1:02:something did it dawn on me that maybe I could also finish in 1:02:something, and I did.
Last summer I got up before sunrise to dodge the heat. That isn't how you get better at racing in the heat. You get out there and get in it; it's the only way to acclimate. If staying out of the sun is the thing, it's still much warmer at 9 p.m. than at 5 a.m. My training in this regard is the main factor in today's success. I've been running most of my miles in the last month between 90 and 100 degrees. When you get up on race morning and it's 77 or so, it might as well be 57.
With last year's in parentheses:
6:37 pace last .33 (6:49)
OK, WHAT ABOUT THE REAL REASON WE ALL RUN, THE STUFF?
They're sticking with the muscle shirt... really wish they would go back to the singlet. And you get a running cap.
Labor Day 15K, Sept. 3.