No PR but a good effort. I had hoped to do a sub-20 at some point this year, but it was not to be. Matt Hames was going to help me pace the race and I seemed healthy and recovered from Dizzy 50.
First Mile I started out pretty fast and as usual banked some time. I had told Matt I might start out fast and then settle in to a sustainable pace. Matt dropped back, but caught me at the half a mile. This kept me from settling into to slow of a pace. Pacing with Matt forced me to maintain a pace around 6:33. I stayed with Matt until the mid race aid station. I eased ahead of him and he dropped back. I did not find out until the end of the race he had some issues with his hip and had to walk some. He still placed 3rd in his age group.
Mid Race I paced off those ahead of me and was able to maintain a good pace. I may of slowed a little, but still managed to pass some runners. There was a pretty good uphill grade and it was tiring. I could tell I had lost some zing from the Dizzy 50K. I was also looking for the 2 mile split which never came. Mentally it was taking a toll on me because I thought I was pretty tired not to be at 2 miles yet. I finally looked at my Garmin and to my relief it read 2.45 miles and this gave me a mental lift. I was now headed into the teeth of the wind and it was nullifying the benefit of a gentle downhill grade. I was looking forward to making a turn to the west and then north putting the wind at my back.
Last Half Mile The end would soon be in sight and I was able to run this at a pretty good pace. The course straightened out and went up the last uphill grade. I managed to over take a runner and then he passed me and then I started pushing it and sprinting the last .30 of the race. I passed that runner and my pace at this point ranged from low 6 minute pace to eventually a mid 5 min pace. After cresting the hill all I could think of was the finish. No sub 20 but I felt I had finished strong.
I finished with a 20:22 overall time for a 6:34 min/mile average pace. I finished 11th overall and first in my age group. It was a hilly course on a blustery day. All things considered I was pleased with the effort. I would like to thank Matt for the early pacing without him I would of slowed down to much and not finished as well.
Rocket City Marathon next week. I will run my usual tempo and hill runs and swim or bike the rest of the week. I believe I am ready for this marathon. I am hoping to do a sub 4 hour marathon and we will see.