This morning was a race directors dream. Ok maybe this is. Regardless, the weather was absolutely perfect for a race. Bluebird skies, peak fall colors, indian summer temps, good breeze. Nevertheless, I almost didn't run it. Last night at 11PM, I was contemplating driving to North Conway for the White Mountain Milers half-marathon. I really wanted to, but then I realized that I've done exactly zero road runs > 8 miles in length this year and my handful of trail runs longer than this have been at easy paces. So a half-marathon wouldn't have been pretty. I really wanted to do the Franklin Park 5K at the Mayor's cup, but I had to be in Gorham at 12:30 for a USM open house for HS students. So I stuck to my plan and did the Great Pumpkin 10K.
The Great Pumpkin course is flat. Very flat. But it's very open and there always seems to be a good breeze. I don't really race road races. I time-trail them with the Garmin 305 as my rabbit. McMillan gives me my expected time and pace and I take of like a very steady robot. It's not pure but it gets the job done.
Over the first 3.5 miles, I steadily passed a few runners, more from them slowing down then me increasing my speed. I felt great and in control. Somewhere after the 4th mile was where I got my side stitch last time I ran this course (2006) so I really focussed on my breathing at this point. Near the end of the 4th mile I could feel a very slight stitch but I kept it under control. I picked up my pace after mile 5 and passed my last runner. At 5.2 miles, I looked at my watch and saw that I had exactly 6 minutes to break 38 flat. This assumes that there really was 1 mile left and not 1.0xxx miles. I was running as fast as I could and paying a steep price in oxygen debt. Turns out I had 1.03 miles to go, which at a 6:00 pace should take 6:11. My time crossing the finish line was 38:10 or maybe 38:11 but my official time was 38:12.
I'll take it - 38:12 is a 51 sec PR. 11th overall, 7th age-group (wtf?). And for the 1st time in my life, in a Portland-area race, I was the first masters runner not running in a Dirigo singlet! So I guess I got Dirigoed.
And my glutes-hamstrings have staged a coup.
5:50 (for .23 mi)