My 287th race, but only my 2nd 15K. I had no plans to be here today, but my recovery from the marathon of last week went much better than expected. On Thursday I was thinking about the weekend and that a good ten mile effort with no walk breaks would be a good work out. Then the rest of my family had plans, so I was free to race. The 15K is 9.33 miles and will be more fun that running alone.
There was a huge windy rain storm all day Friday, but now it is mostly clear skies. In fact I will wish that I had sunglasses at times. Cool and a little breeze but nothing to complain about. No real racing goals. I would like to be around a nine minute mile. Ideally I will run the second half faster than the first half. Same old out and back course that I have done so many times. Fun to see Maniacs and Oly area runners.
Start - No warm up and I start way in the back. Probably a 10-15 second differential between my watch, which I start when I get to the start line, and the official time. Around the track and up the hill. I am right at a nine minute pace but it feels easier than that. Gradually I speed up to about 8:50 pace, which is where I am at when I see the first mile marker.
Mile 1 to Mile 4.665 - In a big pack. No hurry to pass people, but I do pass some when there is an easy opportunity. Really nice to be out in the sunshine and feeling good. I gradually get just a little faster. It is a good steady pace, working hard but it is sustainable. I can see Maniac Nancy up ahead and I want to run with her, but I take my time and reel her in slowly. We run together to the turn around. 8:47 overall average pace at the turn around. I tell her that I plan to negative split. Secretly I am not so sure that I will be able to. In my return from injury I have been taking so many walk breaks in all of my runs for the past few months. Plus I ran a marathon seven days ago. I expect to get real tired and that is fine.
Mile 4.665 to 15K -So I set out a little faster and keep an eye on my overall average pace. 8:47 drops to 8:45, then to 8:43. Working harder, but it feels good. Runners are spread out and now I am playing catch and pass. 8:39 and with every person that I pass, it gets just a little more difficult. Bro Terry sighting. Now the only real uphill on the way back. I slow a little but it is not so bad and I know that there are some nice downhills coming up. Pass a few more people and it is 8:35 overall pace. Two guys up ahead and less than two miles to go. I can't believe that I am thinking about age group results and wondering if they are in my age group. This is turning into a wonderful race. I will have the negative split no problem and I probably will not be passed by anyone in the second half. If I can catch these two guys, one of them may come back to get me, and I still fear falling apart, but I am truckin right along. Pass both of them and then run scared that they will get me. 8:31 pace. I can not help but look back at one of the last turns and it looks like I am OK. Cruise on in to a happy finish.
Results pending, but I did get a third in age group ribbon
First Half: 41:05, Second Half: 38:27
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