What a great day! Temps in the mid 50s, overcast, little wind, sea level, and flat roads - what more could you want? Eh - maybe a trail or two.
I couldn't have asked for a better result - I'm extremely happy! I won't go through the whole race play by play but I will recap the highlights:
My first mile was 5:51. I felt like I just committed the cardinal sin of going out too fast but I was talking, giving the bands the thumbs up, just having a great time and hardly breathing. I really had the confidence I could keep this up. I was running with the majority of the lead women (save it a couple Kenyan women) so it was nice to have the crowd cheering for them and thinking it was for me... Mile after mile I was hitting in the upper 5:50s, even had one mile at 5:27 (probably marked wrong) but I never felt like I got out of my comfort zone until late. I was regularly taking in a sip of water every other mile, ate a Power Gel at 50 minutes, 1.40, and again at 2.10.
Things sorta changed when I hit mile 17 as I started to feel a little fatigued and for the first time I felt myself pushing out of that zone. But from mile 17 to 22 I was regularly hitting 6:05s so I was still on pace to get under 2.40. As Josh Brimhall told me before the race, "a fast marathon is no joke" and he was right. My effort out there today rank among my hardest 50s for sure! When I hit mile 24 I cracked with a 6:20 and I felt like I was going faster... I would speed up for 30 seconds or so and then the motor would quit. I guess you can say I left it all out on the course today. In the end I sprinted with Ken Pliska to the line, I beat him by 3 feet but somehow they gave him the masters win... oh well, no biggie I got my PR and that's all that matters.
When I started training for this marathon 7 weeks ago I thought I'd be pushing it to hit 6:15s. After a couple speed workouts I re-evaluated with 6:08s in mind. And today I end with 6:02s. If I had one piece of advice to anyone it would be: Race the way you train and stay in the comfort zone for as long as possible. When the motor quits -dig deep- and know you gave it your all.
Here are my splits for today:
5K - 18:30
10K - 36:49
Half - 1.16:59
20 mile - 1.58:54
And last I leave you with the highlight of my trip