Temp 60 Winds Calm. Humid (87%) Dew Point 53 degrees.
Huge break on weather. Record low last night. Yeah, the humidity is high, but 60 degrees? Awesome. Now only have to deal with the course. 2.5 mile loop. 4 laps. Mile splits will break down this way:
Mile #1 - Parking lot to park roads to city streets, up and down hills. Mile #2 - Leave streets and go cross country about 300 meters, immediately hit steep climb, then pick up running trails, run through hills to lake. Mile #3 - On around lake back past start/finish, back on the streets and hills. Mile #4 - Hills on city streets, cross country, and climb. Mile #5 - Hills on trails, around lake, and back to start/finish. Miles #6 to #10 are repeats of #1 to #5.
I'm clueless on racing this distance. Plugged times of last 5K (7/4) and 7-Miler (6/28) into race time predictor and it gave me a 7:28 pace for a 1:14:35 time. On this course, I was thinking best case a 1:15:00. Now, not having to deal with the heat, that sounds doable. Set Garmin to alert me every 18:45. Figure no way to beat A-Wad. Stick to Schmiz and hope he fades enough for me to take over 2nd in AG for the Race Series. Have two new runners in AG, one will beat me (Capt'n Paul), but he will not have enough races to qualify for Series championship.
Off and elite pack of six get some separation from my pack of four (we're all 45-49 AG). Lose the first on the first steep climb. Mile one 7:23 and I'm 9th overall, 4th AG. Cross country and hill drops mile two to 7:29. Same placing, Capt'n Paul has opened on Schmiz and me. We finish the first 2.5 mile lap. Capt'n Paul has opened 0:50 seconds on me and he's gone. I'm down 0:06 seconds to Schmiz. Garmin alert early in second lap.
Starting to hit stride and mile three is a 7:13. Too fast? Just keeping pace with Schmiz. Feel good. Hit cross country section for second time and it nails Schmiz. I close the full gap. Go ahead and pull past him on hill and finish off mile four in 7:19. Now I want some distance and I've ran the ups and downs on these trails and upcoming streets a hundred times. Mile five is a 7:03. Quick hit on fluid at halfway point and off again. Garmin alert a little later on this lap! Mile six is a 7:08...you know another 7:03 with that 0:05 water break! I've opened the gap. 8th overall, 3rd AG.
Need to get back to normal pacing for a tough mile seven. Do so with a 7:17. Now can feel this is a "Race Effort". See Schmiz across lake and he's about 400 meters back. Have about three miles to go. I feel great, like I can do maybe 7:20s. Thinking no way he can close. Through start/finish for last time. One last sip, and then on to finish mile eight in 7:15. Didn't hear final Garmin alert.
Real happy with first eight miles. Now thinking do not blow myself up on these hills. Back it down to a 7:30 on mile nine. I've cleared the last cross country section and made the last "big" climb. Set the cruise control and closed it out with a 7:12.
Official time 1:12:49. A 7:16-7:17 pace. Wow...shocked. 2.5 mile lap splits: 18:19 / 18:07 / 18:09 / 18:13. REAL, REAL happy with that!! 8th overall and 3rd AG...no wait. See A-Wad. Find out that after three laps, he packed it in and took a DNF. WTF?? So, 7th overall and 2nd AG. Now the "jaw-dropper" of the day. I've got a 3rd and two 2nds. I've moved into 1st place in AG for the overall series. Unbelievable. (All A-Wad has to do is show and smoke me in the 8-Miler in September, but now, he HAS to show!) Hammer sitting pretty to take the overall.
Del did an amazing job setting up this course and giving the overall event a "Big Time" feel. All first class...best I've ever participated in. Obivious when a real pro does these things.
Man, I'm at an all-time confidence high. Slowly but surely the progress is coming. This running stuff is freakin' fun!!