A good day for our little group. Cuch drove me, Michael, and Gregs down. Had some pahking issues (more on this later). When we got out of the car I was like "oh good grief". I think I said it like 10 times. Right on the ocean the flags were all straight out and the wind was just howling. Plus it seemed like it was coming from the SW, which would be bad.
Went inside, grabbed a corner, shed some clothes. I was wearing shorts, which seemed to have everyone puzzled. Really for me there was no thinking about that if I was racing. My issue was up top. I elected a tech short sleeve, a loose short sleeve, arm warmers and a throwaway long sleeve. The first 4 were going to be generally into the wind, I thought I could throw the long after that.
The warmup was cold and windy. Did some strides and some drills and my legs actually felt pretty good. Wore the new Fastwitchs and never had any issues. Plan was to go out at 6:45 and see what happened.
Found everyone at the start and then we were off. Because I've had some trouble on the roads with pacing in training, I was paying attention to Garmin the first few miles, and I had McCullough (Mc) ahead of me and just wanted to stay in touch. First few miles felt about right for effort. Mc was a ways ahead in a pack drafting. I kept trying to find people to get behind, but kept passing people and was alone - decided in here to catch up to the group ahead so I could draft. Used a little energy doing that. Around 4 or so came up on JW, he doesn't belong here with me (later learned he was injured). It looked like Mc slowed just a bit, so I caught him and drafted maybe 1/4 mile. Then I passed him hard. He came with me. I was alone again, so had to keep hopping from person to person again to keep drafting as I was passing.
Turned out of the wind around 5, decided to throw the shirt. I almost fell down trying to do it the first time but finally got it off. Mc faded back (leter learned he too injured himslf). Tried to break the race into segments, get to 6.5, then get to 9 (along the ocean), then 11, etc. Just maintain pace as long as I can. 6,7,8 a little tough, but I had people around me to sort of pace with - just don't lose touch. Still passing a few too.
My pacing seemed right on - avg pace on Garmin was just stuck on 6:45-6:46. At 9 along the ocean I was on faimiliar course because of ES20, just tried to keep breathing and keep legs stretched. Took a Gu.
In other long races when I've tried to run hard, I've been forced to labor through at the end, on a slow fade shortening stride. This didn't end up happening. I had a hamstring twinge at mile 11 or so, but by now I pretty much had it. If I hadn't had that I think I could have gone even faster at the end - the rest of me was fine. The hamstring wasn't bad- I just wanted to make sure since I had this thing that I didn't eff it up and dnf.
Doing math I was thinking I was sub 1:29. But I also noticed that my Garmin was not aligned with mile markers - it was going to be more like 13.2. Still thought I had a shot. I got faster in the last 2 miles, which was a great feeling. Strong all the way to the finish. Mc yelled to run to the gun (he was in street clothes at the finish) and I did. Really thought I might have made 1:29, because my avg pace was 6:45. But I forgot the length issue - I ran 13.22. Not complaining, it happens and was probably my fault for the tangents, but I hadn't really counted on it. Still, I'm really happy with the effort and result.
The wind was not ideal, but it worked both ways and I wouldn't attrubute too much to it.
Great races for everyone; Greg_C had 7 minute PR, Michael also by 3-4 I think on a not ideal day. And coach came in in the 1:40s, which given her cold issues and injuries I think was awesome. In the hotel, they had what must have been 1000 beers lined up. It was like heaven. We stayed for a while, then went and got some lunch and a few more beers. Coach got into Portsmouth and started driving the wrong way down one way streets like we were in an action movie. Somehow I wasn't even scared. She's scary.
So 6:45 13.1 converts to 3:06.