|1st in men's 40-44 age group, 6th overall.|
Although I couldn't tell before the race started, today's race basically is the same course as that 2010 race. The gun sounded and since I lined up just behind the start, the pace was pretty quick. Early on I looked down at my watch and it said 5:35. I intentionally tried to slow myself down as much as I could and still ended up with a 6:40 first mile. My original strategy was to keep everything at a 7:10/mile pace so I could break my PR of 22:20.
Before the first mile I heard the clomping of feet behind me. I thought it was a guy, but it turned out to be a woman. I decided to try to keep within sight of her, and maybe was about 5 seconds behind her for most of the race (except for the first mile when I intentionally was trying to slow myself down).
The effort seemed good. When the second mile said 7:07, I knew that I could probably run an 8:00 mile and still break my PR.
But for whatever reason, the pace was pretty good. After the final turn past the Active Oval, I just kept it up. I passed the woman (who became first overall female) and was just closing in on a guy right at Mile 3 when ... he started to throw in his kick and keep in front of me. I ran a little faster but nothing that was going to pass him. My Saucony Type A6s felt especially good during this faster phase of the race with lots of traction at exactly where my foot was striking.
At the moment I decided my intent was not to try to pass him since I was happy that I would be breaking a four-and-a-half-year-old PR. (Later when we were waiting for the awards I worried that maybe he would be in my age group but I saw on the screen that he was 31).
When I crossed the line, my watch said 21:30, breaking my PR by 50 seconds. I think all I needed were the right conditions: 1). A fast start 2). Someone fast I could pace behind instead of being on my own for long stretches of the race and 3). A course that wasn't too hilly and one that I was familiar with.
The first Masters male beat me by more than a minute but I was happy to take first place for my age group since I hadn't responded to the fifth runner's kick at the end and would have been second place had he been in my age group.
Beets: I went with my same routine, with the beet and goat cheese salad the night before and in the morning about an hour before the race I drank the beet juice that had accumulated in the beet container (no more than four tablespoons) and had the tiniest sliver of beet with bread. I wasn't too concerned about it since my goal was to run a specific time that I've run during interval training without drinking beet juice.
At any rate my legs felt great after the race, slightly sore but not really. I was able to do my cooldown run after the awards.
Time: 8 a.m.
Temp: 66 degrees
Gear: Technical T-shirt, short (Doug Kessler 10K), shorts, Saucony Type A6.