Shorts and 1 Long sleeve shirt, hat but no gloves, gorgeous weather. A little wind on the way out, at our backs for the 2nd half.
8:47, 8:20, 8:33, First three miles. First two are slightly uphill. Sean Wandrei passed me early in the third mile.
7:50, 8:03, last 1.2 in 7:58 for 6:38 pace! 8:00 pace overall, same as last year.
I'm going to assume those miles weren't marked too well. Last 2 miles average 7:30 which feels about right. I don't think I could have maintained that for too much longer, I was really cruising.
Steadily passed people those first three miles, and spent mile 4 working on the next pair. I wouldn't pass anyone else. Felt very strong for the last sprint to the finish.
I passed those two young ladies and wished them Happy New Year, feeling great. All smiles, loving the positive energy and taking any opportunity to offer encouragement. People in my way didn't bother me, I enthusiastically diverted onto the grass with no problem. This is another universe from the attitude of more competitive years.
Actually a much different attitude than I started the morning with, arriving to a mob of police cadets with seemingly pointless parking directions. I start with a pretty low opinion of Westfield and driving in was reflecting on how much it reminded me of Providence. Then, the lines for registration weren't clear. I though I had respectfully corrected someone for cutting in front of me but to his ears I was barking at him. I took some intentional aggressive positivie attitude and made sure the morning would go in the other direction from that moment onward. This included making sure to say hi to everyone I recognised and enage in some meaningful conversation with Dan McNair, Charles Vanasse, Lou S., and Steve Penna. Funny, Mike the Muay Thai guy still mean mugs me, but I gave smiles back. So, faced with a town I don't like, facing the obnoxious police presence that exemplifies its worst qualities, a positive attitude was required and delivered in spades.
I may have successfully used the core-coiling head-over-foot technique to fight off my typical right side shoulder issue. There are constant issues here with any amount of strength training but the run reminds me that this is a recurring problem. I had forgotten. By using only appropriate tension to properly align each stride I think I prevented an imbalance from throwing me off. It's on sudden max effort distance runs like this that sloppy form shows up as pain. Chin tucking was needed but created a difficulty. My top cervical vertebrae don't easily allow enough space for my tongue etc. Focused relaxation there helped and opened up my thoracic and shoulder girdle for no pain in the last 2 miles.