Outstanding race, possibly, probably, my best ever, which is amazing considering I wasn't tapered, rested, etc and I was very hung over as recently as two days ago. This was at best a 'B' race, more like a 'C'.
I liked this course (Palo Alto), it was similar to the OC HM (though not as nice). The course was pancake flat, but there was a lot of running on soft and loose surfaces, which makes maintaining pace a bit more difficult. The weather was pretty much perfect for racing. It was cold (40) when I got there, warmed up enough for me to start in no sleeves, short tights and gloves and was warm enough afterwards that I didn't need much. Sunny throughout.
This was the best pacing I've ever done. The first quarter of a mile or so I noticed I was sub 6, so had to force myself to slow down and not go with people I knew would come back to me. My 1st mile goal was 6:40 and take it from there, but I was a bit under and felt fine. Went through 5k @ 20:30, which means 2nd 5k was almost exact pace. All miles were within 6 seconds of each other. After the first 1 or 2 miles and people start dropping off that were running unrealistically, I went back and forth with a guy who did not want me in front of him, so I let him be 20 meters in front. After maybe 4 miles he dropped off and I was alone. At 5 or so two guys started coming back to me and they were clearly in rough shape when I passed them. With about .5 miles to go, I got smoked by an older guy who looked like he just started the race. It was a bit awkward in the last 1 or so miles after we'd merged with the 5k runners as the bike path wasn't that wide. I did quite a bit of "on your left" yelling. So, between miles 1 and 5 it was pretty quiet and I felt like I was running on my own (I'm not used to races that sparsely populated).
HR was pretty high consistently, I would have thought avg would be more than the 174 that it was.
Splits (based on garmin calculated 6.23 miles) and HR:
6:10@179 (last .2 miles)