I started off with an easy 4 miles on Monday due to time restraints and that I had just done the hard turn and burn on Sunday.
Tuesday was an easy 6. Probably would have done a few more or hit the hills but I had big plans for Wednesday.
|Another strong workout with Laura|
I followed that up with and easy 5 on Thursday and then took Friday as a rest day and drove to Danville after work. Did I mention the weather was great this week! Cooler and lower humidity in the afternoons.
Ok, so what about the race?
I had raced here in 2007 but it was in Sept then and very hot. This morning it was 34F as I was making the short drive to the start !
The course was quite different than then also but still much of the race was on the greenway along the Dan River and flat.
I lined up near the front with about 140 others in this low key but well organized event.
I had done a warm up mile and wasn't feeling too spiffy. I had a realistic goal of 1:46-1:47 range and a fantasy goal of 1:45 but as we started I was having doubts and thinking 1:49 might be the target.
Although we started on the road, the contour reminded me of the first mile of my favorite section of the Neuse Greenway with gentle short hills. My stride didn't feel just right and I was expecting 8:15 to 8:30 so I was shocked when I saw 7:51 ! Wow, I'm running better than I thought !
Mile 2 started with a qtr mile hill that was nearly as steep as cemetery in Umstead so I just relaxed knowing that there were no more real hills to come. Once at the top and the highest elevation of the course I had a 3/4 mile easy slight downgrade to the river which I used to settle into a strong relaxed pace. That mile was 8:11 and I was quite happy with that.
For the next 3 miles we ran along the river on short stretches of gravel , broken pavement and sidewalk while weaving in and out of parking lots and behind buildings and shopping centers ! Not the most scenic route and way too many turns but at least it was flat. And then finally we made it to the greenway. I was very happy to be maintaining a very even pacing just about 7:55 average.
Right around the halfway point we began an out and back section of the course on the greenway which would bring us back to the old railroad bridge that would take us to the other side of the river to the finish. In 2007 we finished about 100yds past the bridge in front ot the train station but this year we would have to circle under the bridge with another half mile to go.
|greenway passing under RR bridge|
Ok, back to the race. At mile 7 I was still running every mile within about a 5 second range. With 6 to go I was telling myself all I had to do was pretend it was my normal 6 miles with Laura which right now we are running around the pace I had run for the 1st 7miles of the race.
By mile 8 I was confident there would be no blowing up this time but I still kind of expected to gradually slow down in the last miles. I made it to 9.5 and did the loop around a field and then headed back upriver on the greenway. I thought this might be when I would slow some but I remained focused and the 7:55 ish splits just kept coming and over the next couple of miles I started picking off quite a few that were slowing down. And then with about 6/10ths to go we came to the bridge.
|looking across the RR bridge|
|view of RR beidge from greenway|
I was so thrilled to finish in 1:43:15, my fasted half in over 15 years and much better than I dreamed I could do at this point. I am officialy done with referring to the injury now !
So, you would think in a small race like this with that time I would make it to the podium ? Ha ! Turns out I was in the toughest age group of all ! I was 5th !!! Even with a 23rd overall placing !
I would have been 2nd in the 45-49 ag by just 4 seconds. I would have been third in the 50-54 and if I was just 2 months older would have won the 60-65 ! Oh well, I am just happy with the great personal performace and knowing I still have some great racing ahead of me.
|happy 1:43:15 finisher|
Stay tuned for more running excitement !