Temp 79 Heat Index 82. Humidity 80%. Dew Point 68 degrees. (Tropical)
Was disappointed (and unprepared) when got the weather forecast. I'm thinking I'm in shape to go for 7:00 minute miles, but what will the heat do? Read up on Galloway, RA forums, and various other sights last night. Talked to the other runners pre-race. Plan now is to go out around 7:30 and see if heat will let me progress and settle in at 7:15. New goal is to break 52:00.
We have four runners (including Hammer and A-Wad) who will compete for 1st and should run in the low 40s. Looks like me and Schmiz are the top of the next pack. From his FM & HM times, I have him pegged for about 7:10 - 7:15 in today's conditions. I should be able to stay fairly close. He typically beats me by at least 0:45 at 5K.
I line up in what would typically be 3rd row. No one else looks real anxious, I actually end up on a second row. Did not push the start, but somehow, after the first 100 meters I was in 7th. Pack of 4, a high school kid, and Schmiz. Passed the high school kid about 0.75 in. Feeling very relaxed. The course had each mile marked. I'd set my Garmin to alert every 7:00 minutes the night before. Didn't change it pre-race. Thought hear beep, look for mile marker sometime in next minute. That would get me through about 4 miles and then I can see where I'm at.
Hear the 1st beep and I'm right at the mile marker. 7:05. Next beep, about the same. 7:02. Ignored conventional wisdom, not breathing hard, barely breaking a sweat, the wind is at our backs the way out, and I'm feeling like I can run this all day. Besides, Schmiz is about 40-50 meters ahead of me, right where he belongs...but that would make HIM too fast? 1st water stop at turnaround for 5K. Schmiz had actually stopped to take a sip. Made up some gound.
Midway into mile three, it started innocently. A bug flew down my throat. Feel him caught, so I start trying to hack him up. Running, hacking, spitting. Then I felt my chest tighten and bronchinal tubes start to close. This happend once before on a run...just relax. I'm not asmthatic, but I have had asmtha-type attacks after sucking in large amounts of dust, or like a few months ago, sucking in a large bug. Slowed pace, relaxed, and normal breathing returned. Thinking, get to next water station (think at turnaround) and get it back together. OK until just shy of the third mile, then hit me again. HARD. Had to stop. Walking, thinking, relax, breathe, walk to water station if necessary. Scaring my self shitless here. Looked up and Schmiz has stopped just past some schrubs about 50 or so meters ahead. The water station is just past the three mile mark. Get to it and get some cold water down me. Can feel the bronchinal tube open almost immediately. Check and I hit the split at 7:29. Didn't lose as much as I thought.
Now decide to slow down a little and carry water with me just in case I start closing up again. Form turns to crap. I'm all over the place, unfocused, and still a little scared. 7:28. Still OK time wise, but I've lost it. Have a point picked out now near six mile mark where I plan on taking a walk break. On approach I notice (1) Schmiz has still not pulled away and (2) HE is taking a walk break. Pressed on passed mile marker. Have slowed to 7:48. Few meters past, stop, walk, check Garmin. Good finish and I'm in the low 50s.
Last water station at 5K turnaround. I need a fresh bottle for finish. Notice Schmiz blows right by it. He must be ready to kick it in. I stop a second to pick up a bottle. No drink, just pour it down my back. Then it hit me. I'M NOT TIRED. I'm not racing, I'm just running all over the trail with a water bottle in my hand waiting for another asmtha attack to hit me. No wonder my splits are sucking. Back on course, back on form. Still have the bottle. Screw it...I throw it down. Was not but few seconds later I see Schmiz is walking again. Closing fast. I can't remember if he was walking or running at the time, all I remember is passing him. There is a little over a mile to go. Thinking focus on running, open as wide a gap as possible, and honestly, thinking wait until he kicks by me. Didn't know it because I didn't look. Just ran a 7:21 split in mile 6.
Into the last mile. Thinking focus, run, form, trust your training, HTFU, this is what the runners on the forums talk about, this is why you run 40 miles a week now. No idea how wide a gap I've opened. He has such a smooth quite stride, I'm not going to hear him; however, I refuse to look back and give him an opening to think he can surge. Remember the upcoming footbridge. I can cross, then listen for his foot steps. Over with ears open. Nothing. I get a rush and speed up. Through the last section of woods and into the clearing. I hear the race announcer call my name and I listen for him to call Schmiz. Nothing. Even if he catches me, this is chip timed and I left about 2-3 seconds after him. I cros the line in 5th overall, 2nd AG. 50:22.
Splits above from Garmin. Race had 5K and 10K splits...22:10 / 22:09...holy crap!! Finished last 0.80 at 7:08 pace.
Have never finished less than 0:45 behind Schmiz at 5K distance. 10K time 44:19. There was a 10K yesterday on this course. My 10K time today would have been 1st overall by more than 2:00. Yesterday's winner? I've never finished ahead of that runner in any race before either.
Confidence is at an all time high right now. I feel like I left some seconds on that course. I know that I learned a lot today.
Premier HS CC runner in 1st @ 41:56. Hammer 43:08 (he said he thought the heat would keep him around 6:10 miles). A-Wad 44:10 (was shooting fo 42:00, but as I passed the leaders at the turnaround, he was the only one that looked to be in trouble).