DNF due to right hamstring strain.
Garmin splits: 5:16, 5:14, 5:13, 5:15, 5:18
Interesting non-race stuff: I found a couch for rent through Airbnb about 2 miles from the start line. Weird situation that I chose because I'm cheap. Though $40 is arguably not a great deal for a dirty old couch. I never met my hosts since I arrived late (1 am, thank you Budget car rentals for the 1hr+ wait) and left early (6 am). There was an added thrill as I fell asleep that my hosts could be any sort of sickos. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Race stuff: The weather was excellent. Low-50s, low wind, and rainy. It doesn't get much better. Could've done with less rain, but it wasn't a downpour by any means. I lined up a couple rows deep, and when the gun went off I got out more conservatively than normal. I think I was only 82-83 at 0.25. Settled into the pace and got into a pretty good groove through the first 4. I didn't feel terribly great early. The hamstring was tight before the race and I suspected after mile 1 I was going to have a strain before the race was over, so easing into the pace seemed the right thing.
The lead pack went out way too hot for me, and the chase pack was a solid group of guys chasing 1:10-1:11. After mile 1 I locked onto a guy who had let go of the lead pack but was running strong solo. Maybe 15-20s up. He looked like my guy and I wanted to reel him in slowly.
Around mile 3 I had the kind of sensation I dream of as a runner. It felt like all resistance in my body melted away, and the pace felt... easy. I reached mile 4 and I felt like going sub-69 was in my hands and that I was fit enough to do it. The hamstring was there, but it was background noise and I thought it was going to hold up.
Unfortunately as I reached mile 5 things got much worse for the hammy. The course made a right turn, and that seemed to be the breaking point. The pain took over my awareness and a limp crept into my stride. I made it another quarter mile before I admitted I was not going to finish the race. I stopped and tried a last ditch attempt to massage it and stretch it out. Started again and eased up to pace, but the damage was done. I was fortunate to find a volunteer with a medical cart who drove me back to downtown.
Post-race: I haven't DNF'd since 2012, and it feels unbelievably bad to do it when I know I'm fit. I'm really looking forward to getting healthy and proving my fitness this fall. The hamstring is really sore today... definitely the worst strain I've had. I'm guessing 3-4 weeks to full recovery, but I think slow jogging will be doable in a few days.
I think I initially injured it earlier in the week, and the race just hurt it worse. I saw the PT on Tuesday, and we did some hip/glute/hammy strengthening. I had alarm bells going off that I shouldn't do new exercises on race week, and I eventually did tell them I wanted to stop. Too late. But the real mistake was probably doing 3 x mile at LT the next day. The hamstring was complaining afterwards, and it continued to feel tight the rest of the week. Need to realize I'm not 18 anymore and I can't put that kind of stress on my aging muscles.