|I mean that's kind of a grin...right?|
Now I told myself I wouldn't look at my watch...I'd just see how I did after the race was over...(ya, like that was gonna actually happen). A quick glance down and I see I hit the first mile on a 6:40 pace. Granted I didn't feel like I was running wide open but...ooph! I normally hit the first mile of this race on a 5:35 or 5:45. A minute off pace...a minute! Quick calculation in my head...if I can hold this pace I could maybe salvage a sub-20min race. Nothing to do now but keep pushing.
As we got to the turn I could see I'd made up ground and was nearing the front of the group (the 15min-5k group was long gone) and I thought if I could bear down the second half of the race maybe this wouldn't be so bad. Then came the slight incline...and then the 2 mile marker...a quick glance saw that I was in the high 13's...and it was like I could feel all the energy just bleed out of me. I had that realization that the rest of the race is going to be a "just get through it" kind of thing. That last 1.1 miles was not enjoyable in the least. I mean the end of a race never is but when compounded with the realization of just how badly the race was going, it was sheer agony. A rarity for race, they actually had a 3 mile marker and I was afraid to look down to see my time at this point...and I have to admit that last ".1" miles seemed like forever away.
I crossed the line in 21:37, 67th overall and 10th in my age group. Not a result that I'm happy about but one that given the last few month, I have to be happy with. I crossed the line gasping for air so it wasn't the lack of desire for the race, it was the lack of fitness. Lesson learned. Now to go find another race this weekend...