Overall result...2:44:17 which was good enough for 13th Master (10th 40-44) in the Championships and I believe 75th male and 83rd overall. Not quite what I was hoping for, but considering the conditions, it is ok. It was an amazing experience just being here at a US Championship race! Here is the race report. My GPS had the race at 26.5M, but that was probably due to the clouds and tree lined streets so my splits on the GPS were way off from mile 8 on.
Got up with the alarm feeling pretty good. Logan and I hit the road and got to the buses early and got the starting line for the wait. The weather was cool and a bit rainy but not bad. Got a 1M warmup in and got the start and found Kristen Fryberg so we could run together.
The gun went off. Miles 1-2 were good, averaging a good clip under expected time, but then the rain started and it poured through mile 19! I ran with Kristen and May Akor from mile 3-9 (cool pacing two Olympic Trials women runners!) Kristen took off here and Mary fell back. By the half, I was ready to quit. Hit the HM point spot on 1:18 (about 1 minute behind my goal time). I couldn't feel my feet from mile 10 on as I was soaking wet and cold. I hit mile 14 and thought of my friend Steve P. (to whom I dedicated this race) and that gave me the strength to go on. Up to this point, I was the 9th master.
At mile 15, 2 master's runners caught me and I ran with them until mile 17 when they (and another master) took off. I thought of going with them, but wanted to save something for the hill and hoped they might come back to me. About this point I remember my left foot/shoe feeling funny, like I had a pencil under the middle of my foot. I stopped to check if my sock had rolled down under my foot (since it was soaked I thought it might have come down), but alas it was fine. Looking back, I think this is where I first felt a problem that led to issues later in the month (thought it wasn't a Jone's fracture in my foot, but just really angry tendons!). Yet another "excuse" for slowing down in the second half. At 18M, another master passed me (whom I would catch and pass at 24M). Caught Kristen F. again at 20M where she was dying on the hill (sorry, Kristen! You are a super strong runner!). At 22M, another master passes me but I keep him in sight and striking distance, bidding my time for a "surge".
The hill is very steady from 20-25.5M. The rain has stopped, but the headwind picks up and it drops 5 degrees and I just can't get my muscles warm to put any push on. I sucked during this section and ran a 43 minute last 10K! I was trying to fuel, but just didn't have anything left. I tried to grab a Gu out of my back pocket around 21M but couldn't get it out with my wet/cold hands and my shoulder cramped up as I was reaching back to get it...ouch!
As I was coming up on 25M I thought of pushing to catch the master in front of me, but I wait too long and he hits the downhill at St. Paul cathedral and takes off, and I end up finishing about 100M behind him, dang it. I was 3 minutes off of 10th place, but don't know if I could have caught him, whom by the way was my friend John Piggott (he hit the HM in 1:14ish, so he was coming back to me but is too strong a runner). Overall not bad to be the 13th fastest master in the US for 2008!
Now a week or so later, looking back I am most disappointed in my mental collapse at about 14M. This is where mentally I went from "race" mode to "finish" mode and it showed up when the other master runners passed me. In race mode I would have went with them (and I think I could have stayed with them), but in finish mode I let them go. How could I let this happen in such a big race?
Lesson learned: Respect the hills and do more hill training for the next race. Need to build the strength in the legs to manage the uphills better next year. A keep focused and mentally strong.
Splits may come later if I really want to look at them and post them.
Splits: 1-5:37, 2-5:58, 3-5:52, 4-5:49, 5-5:47, 6-5:54, 7-5:55, 8-5:49, 9-6:02, 10-5:49, 11-5:51, 12-6:08, 13-6:09, 14-6:10, 15-6:11, 16-5:50, 17-6:11, 18-6:16, 19-6:18, 20-6:18, 21-6:35, 22-7:00, 23-7:04, 24-6:48, 25-6:50, 26-6:59, 0.2(0.5 on GPS)-3:00.
Tangent 3 - 69 miles