Nothing really earth shattering on this one so it will not go on the sidebar but it does merit a full post.
Recovered from a disastrous month in February to post a decent first week of March. I was near PR form only 6 weeks earlier and should not have lost much fitness. I still believed that I was capable of a sub-40 but I'd need to be 100% for that to happen. Warming up, I pretty much knew that it was not going to happen but I would give it a shot anyway. I really was not too sluggish but I had a trace of abnormal stiffness in the IT band. I did not feel like I had a ton of power and had to put forth effort to hit race pace in warm up. It felt like I was just one of those "tiny slivers" from being in tip-top form and that's about how I performed. In a 40 minute race, a 1% drop represents a 24 second loss. I felt like I was about 3% off form so I predicted a time in the low 41s. My CR set in 2011 was 40:55, which was possible but unlikely.
Nothing to report here. It was a smooth ride on I-20, which is a road that I could drive in my sleep. I got to Nick's by 7:30 after leaving work a couple of hours early.
Rolling for the first 3K with a hill at the beginning and a fairly tough one just after Mile 1. The final 7K was on a paved trail with a flat-almost imperceptible decline. It's certainly a PR course and I really wish I was completely healthy because on my best day, I could go well under 40.
I had planned to go out more conservative this time but once again, it didn't happen. I was moving well up the first hill but was already getting stiff in the legs and was beginning to breath heavily. After a half mile, we went downhill steadily and my pace increased. I looked down to see a 1st mile split that was too fast. I intentionally backed off going uphill then attempted to pick up the pace on the trail. As expected, there was not much there. Still, I managed a brief increase early in Mile 3 to hit 5K around 20 flat. Looks like I have a chance to CR. Mile 4 was definitely a struggle but my split was not as bad as I feared. 4 runners passed me on the trail but my pace remained steady near 6:40 for Mile 5. Time to push hard now with a Mile to go. The effort increased but the pace did not. I was just struggling to stay at the same speed. Another runner began to gain on me in the homestretch but I managed to keep him behind me by 3 seconds at the finish. He looked to be near my age too and I thought that perhaps I had out-kicked him for 3rd in my AG. In any event, it appeared to be mine to lose at the 6 Mile mark but the race ended on a bit of an incline and I had very little kick left. I still thought I had it up until about 50 yards to go. In the end, I ran out of time by 3 seconds but I did manage to break 41. The official time was 40:58 and it was only good enough for 4th place in my age group. I needed a 40:19 to place. Nick PR'd by more than a minute with a 47:39. Way to go! Next up is Rumpshaker (local 5K) in 3 weeks. I'm hoping to hit the intervals hard and do 1 good long run over the weekend.
6:12 downhill last .5
6:35 (12:47) uphill
6:29 (19:16) trail
6:42 (25:58) trail
6:42 (32:40) trail
6:45 (39:25) trail
1:33 (6:20ish pace for .24) slight rise
A respectable performance especially considering the hell that my body has been through but I'm sick of the "all things considered" excuse. I want results and the healing that I thought I had last year. A non-improvement over 2 years is unsatisfactory. I really don't feel that I am any better off than I was 2 years ago. A sub-41 is still within 9 ticks per mile of the goal and it's a lenient "A-".