What a crazy race today out at Saltair by the Great Salt Lake. I like to run this race every year as a measure of how my training is progressing compared to the previous year. Also, it's a flat out-and-back course which, unlike a lot of our hilly courses, gives you a true indicator of your fitness.
It was a great race in most ways. I ran 35:32 as compared to last years 36:26. So almost a minute faster which I have to be thrilled with. I lined up on the starting line next to Dennis Simonaitis (nice full page profile of him in the new Running Times) so I knew I was racing for second in the Masters division.
Mile 1: 5:34 - feeling pretty good, surprisingly close to race leaders.
Mile 2: 5:43 - Decided to be a little conservative as I wasn't ready to hurt this early in the race. Tucked in right behind some young guy and drafted for a bit.
Mile 3: 5:43 - Young guy started to falter which really annoyed me because I was enjoying drafting off of him in the slight headwind. Probably stayed behind him a little too long. Finally passed him around 3.4 miles.
Mile 4: 5:46 - Running alone now and slightly struggling to maintain pace. A little cranky at not having any company.
Mile 5: 5:49 - Just trying to keep it together. Could see Neal Gassman (another Master) about 20 or 30 seconds ahead. I wasn't closing the gap on him but it wasn't widening either. I've never beat Neal in a 5k or 10k and this was about the closest I've ever been.
Mile 6: 5:48 - Started closing the gap on Neal and one other guy, but not enough time left.
Last .22: 1.08 - Averaged 5:17 pace. Sort of had a kick.
Finished 8th overall. Since Dennis was there, and Neal, I didn't win the $50.00 gift card to Salt Lake Running Company that I was counting on to help me buy my next pair of shoes. So I compensated by taking about 20 coupons for a free loaf of bread at Great Harvest that they were giving away. Have to make back that entry fee some way right? Here's the bummer though. Last year I ran a minute slower and won the masters division. Two years ago I ran 5 minutes slower and won!
So now I think I should be able to run 2 minutes faster at the Salt Lake Half than I did last year. That would put me in the mid to high 1:13 range.
Good day planned. I'm not sure why, but Ann has decided to make a turkey for dinner. So we are having turkey, stuffing, and all the Thanksgiving stuff. No football though!