Temp 85 (85) Wind 9 mph. Humidity 37% Dew Point 55°.
Ran a "respectable" time, set the state record for my age, and won my age group. However, not my best race performance. Inconsistent execution and did not deal well with some of the unexpected circumstances. Paid a significant costs for being a creature of habit in a strange land tonight.
Sun is hot and temperature + dew point = 140, but this is as good as you'll get for an evening race during the first week of July. Taken aback by first sight of course. Not what I expected. RA elevation profile at least 50% off. Hills will be more of a factor. Long, rolling, with about 20-25 feet of incline/decline. Will also have to deal with camber and pavement that's ruddy from farm equipment traffic.
Corral start. Room for five wide. From reviewing the certification map, thought the starting line was in different part of the parking lot. Had not staked out a prime starting line spot. End up about six deep as what typically happens at home happens here. Despite multiple instructions to allow faster runners in front, teenage kids and a couple of parents with little kids clog they way. Try to get away from the smaller kids and end up on the side next to the rail. We're about to start when realize there is also a row of cones along the inside of the rail. Too late now. End up having to start by stepping over cones as I make my way out of the corral.
First 125-150 meters is a loop around the median in the parking lot. Forced to the outside and a walking start and over half the field is ahead of me by the time I clear the corral. Pass as many as possible on the outside in the parking lot and hit to road with about 1/3 of the field still between me and the front runners. Have already lost contact with most.
Next 300 meters spent weaving through slower runners down an incline into wind. Make the cotter turn and hit the long incline up to the turnaround. Finally relaxed and was able to settle in and find my stride. Glanced at watch somewhere around 600 and was at 6:08. Too fast and almost all of it sloppy.
Lost count of how many folks I passed, but noted that one runner went with me and hear them off my right shoulder. Ended up having to make a right turn at the turnaround. Unable to re-accelerate back up to previous speed as hips tightened up and got a stitch. Feel myself slowing. Still passed two more runners and now hear co-pilot behind me and drafting off me into wind. Waited until we got back to decline, then passed me. Still too tight and cramping to respond.
Back to the cotter turn, then uphill to finish. Found my stride again on the incline. Was closing on next three runners, but had lost too much space to change my fate.
Mile (800) Splits = 6:15 (3:04/3:11) and 6:23 (3:16/3:07). First 800 of second mile killed me. Got in a hole out of the gate and spent too much energy having to run too fast and too inefficient to get back in the mix. Ended up running in "zoned out" state with focus on holding things together rather than racing. Bottom line, under-preformed.
Chip Time 12:37:XX, so state record will round up to 12:38. Barely over 75%...sucks. 11th OA. Won 50-59 AG.
The sport is humbling and was smacked in the face tonight. Brutal reminder that at 56, the margin for error is very small. Run (near) perfect race, or get your ass handed to you. Cannot recover from early setbacks or mistakes and still be executing at the end.