Race day broke cool and overcast - another perfect race morning! Makes for gloomy pictures, but I certainly had no heat complaints, with it being August and all. It was probably low 60s.
In case you missed my last post, here were my goals:
D Goal: Under 44:16 (7:09 pace) - New 10-year PR!
C Goal: Under 43:25 - Sub 7:00 pace!
B goal: Under 43:00 (6:56 pace)
A goal: Under 42:00 (6:47 pace)
My dear wife decided to come along and take photos. Then after we arrived we were happy to see loopster AtomBuddy had made the trip to the beach. He wasn't racing, but got in a beachside workout and hung around to see how I did. The two of us did a mile warmup together.
I love this one. Note the seagull between our heads.
And then it was go time. My plan was to be a little over 7 for the first mile, and then try to get under 7 for the rest of the way. As usual, adrenaline took me out a little fast, but G warned me, so I dialed it back and tried to relax. (What did we do before Garmins? Went out too fast for too long, is what I did.) Felt comfortable as the pace slowed and went through 1 in 7:08. Perfect
I was already passing people, and decided to keep track of my place. At the first U-turn at 1.3 miles, I was 39th, so as I passed people I counted down. No one passed me the whole race until the last 100 yards. G had me at 6:59 for the 2nd mile, but at the official 2-mile I was 14:12. I was working pretty hard here, but the pace wasn't dropping below 7. Mile 3 was 7:04. I was moving steadily at the best pace I thought I could handle, but sub-7 just felt too hard with so long to go.
Still, I was passing people and feeling pretty good. I reset my goals by forgetting about A, but still thought I had a shot at B since I planned to pick it up in the 2nd half. And the last mile has a nice downhill. Here I am at 3.5. DW framed this nicely with the ocean, the palm trees, and the No Stopping sign. Nice.
Mile 4 was 7:01. I was picking it up, but the pace just would not drop for me. But I was definitely starting to work harder. Mile 5 was a slight uphill, but I managed a 6:55. Here we go. That's better. I could taste the finish now, so it made the suffering more bearable. Gotta have a flying pic!
Then I hit the little downhill and then it was under a mile to the finish. G had me at 6:40 and I was working hard to maintain that through the flat. Boy, that last mile seemed to take forever, as I was running on fumes and wanted it to be DONE! Mile 6 was 6:43.
Then I saw that JunBlack had made the trip to get some photos. He and AB were rooting me on.
AB had his hand up for a high five, and I saw him, but I just honestly didn't think I wanted to spend the energy in that last 0.2 miles to lift my arm. So I left him hanging. Then I saw this series of photos, and I can't help but chuckle. AB slowly drops his arm and his head and looks so sad. Sorry Mark! Hehehe. I'm sure he understands.
So the last .24 was at 6:14 pace and I finished in 43:16. So I managed to get two of my goals, and left the other two out there for another day. I'm quite content with a 60-second PR and a sub-7 pace! Sadly I finished 4th in my AG and missed the top-3 medals by about 45 seconds. But I have enough medals anyway, right?
AB and I did a mile cooldown, and pledged to see each other down the road at another race.
Now it is back to marathon training! Six weeks to go. Looking forward to knocking out 20 next weekend.