This was not on my schedule, but Jody is running with Nicky this morning and I would like at least 10 miles, to get over 40 for the week. Easy to go up to Steilacoom for the 9AM start of this small race. $30 DOR. Sadly they are not doing baked potatoes this year, but there will be coffee, muffins and bagels indoors after the race.
Rain and more rain. Going to be a wet one. Warm enough that I don't need the rain jacket, but I will wear it anyway. And I don't plan to run fast, just a good tempo and hopefully a negative split. Look back over my old results and realize that I have never run a 20K before. I have done the 20 miler here a couple of times so I know the course, but I would have thought that I had done the shorter version at some point.
No warm up, I can ease into the first miles. Plus it is dumping rain, so I wait inside as long as possible.
Start - Right on time and smooth around the track. Not much wind at all, but lots of puddles and rain.
Mile 1 - 8:54 - Faster than I expected. Nice group of soggy runners trying to work around any deep puddles or street creeks, trying to keep our feet dry as long as possible.
Mile 3 - 8:51 average pace. Ease back just a little. Gentle uphills. Feeling good and I like the pace.
Mile 6.25 - Turn around and glad to be heading back. 8:53 average pace. Start moving faster and gradually passing some people.
Mile 9 - Rain is letting up. I take the hood off and charge down the hills. Pass a couple more. Working harder, but the average pace is only dropping a little. Not running with anyone, just working to catch people and move along.
Mile 10 - One guy who might be in my age group has been far ahead, but I have been gaining on him. Put on a burst and do pass him. But now my legs start to stiffen and it just gets harder to run. Form is bad and I am worried that he will pass me back. I should protect my body, relax and cruise in easy, but I have not been passed by anyone in the second half and I don't intend to let that happen now.
Mile 12.5 (20K) - Fairly difficult struggle to the end, but I do finish with a negative split at 8:49 pace overall. Not as easy as I had hoped and I expected to be a little faster. Very quiet at the finish line, I cheer a couple of people in, then dry off and get my results.
Hardly a fun racing event, but better than a long solo run.
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