This was encouraging. In a way it's sort of weird to be encouraged about being slower than many in the group, and slower than before, but if I take that out of it and just look at this relative to where I have been recently, I have to be happy.
The plan was to go out at 7:15ish pace for a few miles, pretty conservatively. That's the opposite of what I usually do - I don't deliberately go out fast, but I do often misjudge my fitness, and I do get sucked out at the beginning. So I said my goal was 1:35, but that wasn't accurate, I really just had a goal for the first few miles, and I wanted to finish strong rather than fade.
The gang took the new blue dino down, that was really good because it just took the thinking out, and the group thing sort of takes all of the internal prerace pressure away. The race was sort of a blur. Jim and I kind of hung together for a bit, then I was ahead, then he caught up and I thought was going to drop me. I was focused the first 6 miles on just staying with 2 particularly guys I didn't know, but that seemed be running steady at a pace that was just slightly faster than I wanted. But I felt like sticking was the best thing. They lost me on the mile 7 uphill though, and then I spent most of the rest of the race in no man's land.
Tried to finish strong, it was mostly more effort to keep the same pace though. Overall very happy with the race. Actually everybody pretty much had a good race. Then we stayed for the post race beer table probably an hour too long, and then lunch and unnecessary beer and french fries. But a fun group outing.