Temp 65 Wind 5 mph. Humidity 93% Dew Point 61 degrees. Temp 72 at end of race.
Weather Channel misses. Kept bumping the overnight low up over last couple of days. Still shy, as its about 6 degrees warmer than expected. Humid and muggy. Notice it, and plan to make slight adjustment. 215 at starting line. 70+ over last year's field, and maybe largest ever.
I've pretty much pegged the top five (Shawn B., Jared T., Chad S., Paul F., and Marco R.) Pretty stout group of masters. Ghisallo's Bruce N. and Anthony B. are down for a training run and running non-compete. They are expected to pace a group of the Ghisallo Masters at 7:00 m/m.
Based on training runs, I expect to be somewhere between 1:28:30 and 1:31:45. Don't see myself slower than 7:00 m/m, and best case will probably be 6:45 m/m. Can tell with the weather, it may be closer to 7:00. Due to uphill for about the first half mile, was looking at going out around 6:50 in these conditions. Would not fret if it were 7:00.
Start with a 6:53. Surprised to see 7:00 pace group out around 6:45? Only Joe W., Schmiz, and few others I don't know stay with them. I'm back a ways with Paul S. and Brian J. just off my left shoulder. Hear them commenting on Schmiz and Joe out fast. Hear Paul say "my money's on Kevin". Mostly down hill and flat for next two miles, so relax and pick it up ever-so-slightly. Coach H. passes me in mile two. (He had told Hammer "emphatically" yesterday he could not run a 1:28:00...sandbagger.) Stop at water stop at two miles. Drop pace a few seconds in both miles 2 and 3. Pull back even with pace group to start mile four. Running smooth, so go ahead and take lead. Some up hill here, so will take it down a notch. Stop at water stop at four miles and they all pass me again.
OA female winner runs off course in fifth mile. We get her back on track, and she stays with group until we hit Southern Expressway. 7:00 minute pace group is running 6:50 miles, right where I want to be. Girl and younger guy surge ahead. I pass everyone but BN and AB as I jockey over to asphalt shoulder. Feel JW go right with me. Fifth mile is a 6:49. Make third and final water stop just shy of sixth mile split. BN and AB move on, but no one else from group passes me this time.
On to the Lacroix Trail. Focus on holding pace and running the tangents. Running close to Bruce and Anthony for next 1.5 miles. Pace slipping a bit, and notice its taking more work to hold. Beginning mile 8, can feel body is not clearing latic acid as efficiently as before. Start to feel this in my legs as breathing starts to get harder. Pace slips another 0:05 seconds per mile again for miles 8 & 9. Rob D. passes me early in mile 8.
Was hoping to drop pace in mile nine to get running start at hills. Not happening today. At this point, that strategy would be fatal. Do math with four to go and know I have 28:00 left for sub-1:30:00. I'm just over 7:00 and have not hit hills. Shift focus from time to holding pace and hoping some fade and allow me to improve overall position.
First mile as we transistion into the hills slows to 7:13 and buries me the rest of the way cardio. Another younger runner passes me. Fall off to 7:30ish pace on next two. Came back right around 7:00 for last 1.1 as course levels off some, but had lost too many seconds.
Rookie HM two weeks before 49th birthday. 1:31:27. (This is over 6:00 minutes faster than predicted time from my 10K and 7-Mile race times from earlier this year.) 12th OA out of 215. Third Masters. Coach "Sandbagger" H. drops a 1:27:XX to win Masters OA (just joking, I like the guy). 2nd AG to tri-athlete from St. Louis. Both masters finishers younger than me, so did not get "geezer". Got "girled" for first time since July 2009. (22 year old from South Bend, IN...don't they have a big sports college there??? Searched her out online...former Big Ten runner at U of I.) Did sneek in under a 7:00 m/m pace. One victory.
Schmiz third in AG to give Ghisallo/SM two of three spots. A sweep in the 40-44 with Brian J., JW, and Paul S. in that order. Can't wait to see the 5K splits.
Hammer second OA in 5K with another sub-18. My HM would probably have been an absolute train wreck without all his help getting me physically and mentally prepared to run. Took a lot out of my body to train for this. Its done, its not quite as fast as I would have liked, but its respectable. 12 / 215! Damn! May be some pain tomorrow.