A.M. Raced in the SLC Track Club 15 K. Warmed up a bit over 3 miles at a Kenyan warm-up pace - around 8:30 at the start with the entire FRB team. Then it was time to race. My goal was to run under 50:00, which is slightly sub-5:22 pace. I figured we'd go out at 5:20 and just try to hold it. Maybe slip off in the middle, then gain back on the kick.
BJ Christensen and Aleskander Thomas took off as I expected them to. Steve and I worked together trading leads. There was a slight head wind. Or so I thought. First mile in 5:18. It felt easy, but at the same time I got this feeling - I do not want to race even though the pace is easy, in fact I do not want to race at all. I've had it before. I think I know what it means - nervous system fatigue. That is bad news, I've had nervous system fatigue before. The pace feels aerobically easy, but at the same time with every exertion of effort I cannot break 5:40. I was expecting it today in some degree, though, as I have not been sleeping very well - waking up too early from excitement about life with everything that is going on. I tried to mitigate that as much as possible with naps, but apparently it did not work as much as I hoped. Nevertheless, I decided to cross my fingers and just hope for the best.
6:38 at 2 K, 8:17 at 2.5 K, 10:40 at the mile (5:22). Still alive. 4 K in 13:19, still alive. 3 miles in 16:08 (5:28), no worries, I'll blame it on the wind. 16:43 at the 5 K, 21:34 at 4 miles (5:26), seems like the wind picked up. Steve and I are still trading leads somewhat informally. Whoever is feeling the pace is getting too slow moves up front.
25:08 at the turnaround. 8 seconds off pace, but no worries, we'll get tail wind on the way back, and when we start racing each other hard with a couple of miles to go, we'll catch up. Or so I thought until we had completed the turnaround. What I thought was a headwind on the way out was actually a friendly cross-wind. I guess sometimes we mistake friends for enemies when they ruffle our feathers. So the turnaround made it an unfriendly cross wind.
27:01 at 5 miles (5:27), I move up and press the pace in hopes of getting back up to 5:20 or at least close, but all we could manage was 5:37 on the next mile with 32:38 split at 6. That's bad, the 5:30 guy is starting to close on us. I try to take it in stride.
32:38 at 6 miles (5:32). The good news is that we sped up. The bad news is that the 5:30 guy is closing, and is threatening to come close enough to make me not PR (50:57). And also I am literally falling asleep. Where is the pillow? I'd like to take a nap. The lips feel numb, the quads feel numb as well. Typical night or early morning relay leg feeling. I suppose good practice and confidence builder as well for next week. 33:48 at the 10 K. Last 5 K in 17:05, however, last 2.5 in 8:40, not good at all. If things go like that, the PR might not happen.
38:10 at 7 miles (5:32). We are perpetually stuck at that pace. Trying to pick it up, but not much is happening.
40:41 at 12 K. 10:20 for the last 3 K would not be good enough for a PR. The torch under my fanny is getting lit up. I am feeling good, perhaps even too good, but there seems to be nothing I can do about it. Just cannot get out of the rut. Unfortunately, Steve is the same way. I am starting to wish he would put the hammer down and try to lose me, but he is not feeling up to it either. 12.5 K in 42:24.
43:42 at 8 miles. Another 5:32! Third in a row. We are having a love affair with that pace, and we are in a serious need of repentance, or there might be no PR for me today. 45:27 with a mile to go, a sub-5:30 is good enough for a PR. Fortunately, Steve starts smelling the barn and picking up the pace.
The last mile had quarter marks, thanks to the SLC Track Club. A quarter in 1:21, wow that hurt good enough for 1:19, followed by 1:22. sub-2:47 for the last half gives a PR. Steve picks up the pace even more. I breathe a sign of relief. The PR is happening. We pass mile 9, and now the race is for real. Steve picks it up, I respond, warm into the pace, then try to pass him, he speeds up, I tuck behind him. 49:42 with 0.214 to go. With about 0.1 to go I move out again and start gradually opening the throttle with the intent to reach the max RPMs and hold it to the finish. It is scary, but I know that the momentum will carry me through even if the anaerobic bear attacks me. Steve responds, I keep revving it up and manage to pull away. 50:43.0 for me, 50:43.9 for Steve. Last mile in 5:16, and a 14 second PR for a non-aided 15 K.
Aleksander Thomas won with 48:37 and BJ was second with 48:49. Amazing times for them with the conditions, I was expecting to see them somewhere in the 49:30 - 49:50 range with the wind. But they must have gotten in better shape.
Ran a long cool down to make to the 20 miles for total. Paced Brent in the middle. He had a good kick - 1:36 on the last quarter. Towards the end, Steve started to push the pace, and we ran the last quarter in 1:29. With about 3 miles to go I felt hungry as a lion, and ate accordingly when we got back to Saltair.
P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 16:34.