RACE DAY-Provo 1/2:
Today was one of my 4 biggies for the year. After SLC, I
decided to focus on breaking my 10K, ½, and marathon PRs. To do this I was
focused on Des 10K, Provo 1/2, and St. George. Des 10K went well and today went
even better. First off, my mom asked that for her birthday I run a race “for
her”. So a couple weeks ago I told her this would be the race. This helped give
some extra push.
I was antsy leading up to this one. Yesterday I couldn’t
focus in work at all, the good thing was I had worked my tail off the rest of
the week that Friday was a down day anyway. Then I tried to get to sleep early.
Managed to get to sleep about 9:30, then I woke up ½ hour before my alarm at
3am. Couldn’t get back to sleep and just decided to get going. I was on the
second bus up the canyon and at the top I was initially convinced that we were
not at the correct place. I could only see one Port’O John and nothing in the
way of a start line. But then ran into James, it started getting light and we
saw more bathrooms and finally calmed that we were in the right place.
Looking around at the start I ran into a group of bloggers I
did not know but said hi. There are many friendly faces out there now and I
wish I would make more time to visit additional blogs… Then I saw Dave H. and
we did a warm-up toward the ranch above the start. On the way out there was a
guy with two dogs sitting at the gate keeping people out and I briefly had a
flash back to the junk yard scene in the movie Stand by Me. But no Chomper was
set on Dave and I. By the time we got back to the start Chad, Steve C, Tom,
Michelle L. and to my surprise Walter was there. There was also Sasha and Jeff
Mc to round out the bloggers I was expecting to see. Josse pulled up toward the
gun on one of the last buses. Anyway on to this race.
I put forth a very ambitious goal of 1:13. However, considering
my Des 10K and SLC performances I thought that this was ambitious but not
totally unrealistic. Knowing that Chad has run in this time range before and
that Steve C just has some crazy foot speed my plan was to try and work off of
the two of them as best I could. This year I actually was at the start when the
gun went off and we were down the hill. For those of you who do not know, this
is a crazy fast downhill course.
The first mile Jeff, Dave, and Sasha were the lead pack with
Steve inbetween and some other random runner then the rest of the bloggers
named above. I figured I would never see the front three again. I missed a lot
of my splits as I didn’t want to get intimidated and just go by feel.
a = ascent d = descent
Mile 1: 5:16
I was feeling good with the effort and running along with
Chad and the others.
Mile 2: 5:18
I actually already started to “feel it” here and was worried
about things to come. Also, random runner was driving me crazy with his
inability to pace. He was in front then behind then all over. Chad started to
move forward and I went with him to put this guy behind. Also, somewhere in
this next mile Steve came back to us and we kept rolling.
Mile 3: 5:22
Not really looking at my Garmin but feeling it in my legs.
Pretty concerned at this point that I still had 10 miles to go. Also, somewhere
in here and onto the turn onto the highway Chad started to pull away and I just
Mile 4: 5:10
I took my first Gu at this point and that helped turn it
around. My legs were still aching but I could tell the difference in fuel
reserve. During the next two miles we started to have some up and I started to
feel like I could run with Chad again. Also, now on the road I knew the course
again after having run it with Michelle and Matt from this point last weekend.
This actually helped a lot as I was ready for the hill.
Mile 6: 5:41
Turning into Nunn’s Park I could see Sasha. I was very
surprised by this but considering he had just raced a marathon a couple weeks
ago I figured something was up. But it did make my mouth water and helped me push
a little. Also, cresting the hill and getting onto the trail was nice.
Mile 7: 5:09
(a-150ft, d-319ft). I actually got this split and was ecstatic!
Around a corner onto the trial I came upon Sasha at the tail
end of a VPB (no pun intended) and really felt that he was obtainable. However,
I was really starting to feel it and just kept telling myself to make it to
10-miles and then we’d worry about the rest of the race.
Mile 8: 5:33
The trail was a little busy with bikes and runners but that
actually helped me some because they were welcome distractions from the pain
building in my legs. Took my second Gu. The next three miles were entirely
survival mode. I kept thinking two things, keep going and keep the pace below
St. George goal pace. If you can’t do it for 10 miles you won’t do it for 26!
Mile 9: 5:41
Mile 10: 5:39
Mile 11: 5:39
Looking back on these three splits I’m happy to see my survival
pace on relatively neutral miles is 5:40. At this point we got back onto the
roads and had tons of turns. Also, I could smell blood but I could also smell
the wolves. The blood was both mine but Sasha was tantalizingly close. I looked
back at one of the turns and saw Chad on my heels and knew he had to be
thinking the same thing about me. My legs were so spent and I swear they were
wobbling with each step. This is where the race being my mom’s birthday present
comes into play. I just kept telling myself that I couldn’t give up now I’d
pushed too hard. Also, looking at my split at 10-miles I knew I just had to
stay sub-6 to make by time goal. It was very hard though. The turns and the
fatigue were really playing on me. That and Sasha was staying the same distance
or gapping me.
Mile 12: 5:54
This last mile I was having flash backs from the year
before. Chad and I were in the exact opposite positions and there were some weird
turns before you could see the finish. I actually started yelling out to myself
to keep my legs moving and not let the goal time slip away from me so close to
the finish. Also, with Chad right on my heels I was having flashbacks of Des
Mile 13: 5:47
At this point I knew I had the time and when I saw the clock
I went crazy in my head (it was a minute slow) but in any case I knew I was
going to smash my PR and hit my goal. I let loose and hit my final 0.17 in :56
or 5:22 pace (a-50ft, d-43ft).
In the end I did a cool down with Steve C and Chad, then
soaked in the river for 15 minutes before heading home. FRB had a great showing
wining both men’s and women’s races and sweeping the top 7 places in the men’s
race. Plus looking over the race report page it looks like many other bloggers
had great days.
Overall, I could not have asked for more from this race. I
was very happy with both my time and placement. 1:12.30 and 4th overall The effort felt like I
was racing but not that I was going to die. For the first time 2:30 really
feels obtainable. I still have some work to do but I can taste it. I’m very
happy to have had such strong support from the blog. It is great that there are
so many people at comparable ability to work off of. It really helps and today
being between Sasha and Chad really helped pull, push, and keep me moving. In
the end this demolished by previous ½ PR set in ’06 at the SL half in 1:15.14
so a 2 min and 44 sec PR!!!
Mom I hope that qualifies as a good b-day present. Thanks everyone and I’m
looking forward to my next race. Afterwards I went home and crashed for 2 hrs
then did errands all afternoon and now I’m in lab waiting for an incubation to
wrap up. My legs feel surprisingly good but we’ll see tomorrow.
Asics DS-Trainer #2: 371 / / Asics DS-Trainer #3: 42 / /
Saucony Rides #1: 434 / / Saucony Rides #2: 432 // Saucony Rides #3: 51 //
Adidas Adistar (flats): 205