I'm very happy about this race . Coming in I was a little concerned about my fitness and my disrupted routine and diet this week. I've also been a little concerned about my racing mindset lately and my willingness to compete with intensity in a longer race. In other words, I've been wimping out a lot lately.
But I ran a good, consistent race today - keeping every mile under six minutes and closing with a 5:45 and a 5:40. I also had a good group of guys to race with most of the way. Turns out several of them were masters runners from a Minnesota club. I also ran the last couple miles with a kid from Edina (a suburb of Minneapolis) with a NXN singlet which we chatted about for a bit. He seemed really happy that I recognized the significance of his shirt and I was really happy to be competing with a guy like that at my advanced decrepitude.
I got a big boost from Ann and the kids at around 10 miles. I wasn't expecting to see them along the course and it really helped at a tough point. I also appreciated Jake and Andrea screaming for me the last couple hundred meters. It's pretty nice to be 1500 miles from home and run into guys like Paul and Jake who seem genuinely interested in my efforts. I feel fortunate to still be able to compete in this great sport and I hope I can make it last a while longer. I don't really have any specific goals any more except to train hard and occasionally be rewarded with a race I feel good about.
So I ended up about 55 seconds slower than I ran in 2011 but I'm happy and I feel like I've made it back. I suppose I should make allowances for being two years older but I'm not totally ready to concede yet.
I just saw that my "age graded" finishing place was 9th. :-)