Today didn't go quite as planned but the weather didn't help. Mid-20s at the start and upper 20s at the finish. It didn't feel too bad once we got started but it certainly wasn't optimal.
This was my first race in nearly four month...and it showed. I led the entire way through 10 miles. Mistake #1. We had a pack of five guys that entire stretch and I didn't let anyone else do the work. Poor decision on my part.
We were 21:29 through 4 miles so running along at a 5:22 pace. I was hoping for more like 5:15s, but with the weather 5:20s were fine. We picked up the pace a bit on the flat stretch finishing the first 7 milesin 37:25 (5:20) putting us back on pace overall. At the 7.5M turnaround point we were 40:10. So we were well off my course record pace of 1:18:40 but I don't think any of us expected this to be a banner race. At Mile 9, the lead pace car cut us off and we had to make a very sharp and dangerous zig zag to avoid an accident. This turned out to be pretty unfortunate. At that moment, I could feel the lactic acid fill my legs and I was never really the same. To be fair, the inevitable was coming anyway...that just seemed to be the trigger. At Mile 10 we were still a pack of five which was awesome. I have never run in a pack that size for this long. We crossed in 53:16 (5:19) so we had picked up the pace a bit. I was still leading the pack but starting to feel tired. I was really poorly prepared. I forgot my GU at home which I had planned taking at Mile 5 or so. And by Mile 10, I was feeling a major shortage of energy. So I ceded the lead to try and catch a draft and before I knew it, the group had gapped me. The good news is that I was running slower...they just picked up the pace. The bad news is I couldn't follow. SO I spent the last 5 miles basically by myself plodding along and totally out of gas. The worst remaining mile was 12. It's an uphill mile and I had a miserable 5:43. The rest were in the 5:30 range.
This was a mediocre performance but a good chance to race and check in on where I am.