I woke up this morning thinking about the race and I was feeling a little slow. I hadn’t had a fast run in a while and I hadn’t run since my triathlon about a week ago so I wanted to get some speed in my legs ahead of the race. The race wasn’t until 5pm so I would have plenty of time to recover from a quick 1 mile run. So I headed down to the basement to jump on the treadmill. I did a 10 minute warm up then got set to do my miler. I did a couple fast strides during my warm up and the legs felt good so I knew I’d be OK to push a bit. I didn’t want to do too much knowing I’d be racing later. I started the run at a comfortable 7:45 pace then quickly dropped it to 6:45. I dropped it to 6:30 then just held it there. With about a 10th of a mile to go I dropped it to a 6 minute pace to finish it out. I was breathing a little heavy afterwards but my legs felt good. I was confident I’d be able to run fast but I knew there would be an x factor that could derail my run…the heat. It was supposed to be one of the hottest days of the summer. I don’t do very well when it’s really hot and lately it has been effecting me in my races.
I jumped in the car at 3:30pm to head to the venue and the temp reading was showing 85 degrees. I looked up and the clouds were rolling in. I was thinking to myself, good, even though it was hot not having the sun beaming down would make things a little more manageable. Well during the drive the temp went up to 91 degrees; this was going to be a tough race!
I got to the venue to check in and guess who wasn’t registered…yes, me. Evidently I’d registered for so many other races I’d neglected to actually register for this one but put it on my schedule. So I registered for both the 5k and 10k for Sunday. By the time the race was supposed to start all the clouds had rolled on by with nothing but blue skies and sunshine…oh well, there goes a good race time for me.
For the start of the race I went right up front. I didn’t really know anyone that was up there so I had no idea what kind of pace would be set. The horn sounded and I took off and immediately 5 or 6 young guys were out front and I knew at that point the pace was going to be fast and I wouldn’t be repeating my top 5 performance from last year. My early pace was under 6 minutes, about 5:45. I knew I couldn’t keep that up but we were running into a breeze and it felt good so I stuck with it. I hung onto the tail end of the lead group for about a mile and a half but the heat started to get to me on the back stretch after we turned out of the breeze my pace slowed. I had several guys go by me at this point and I couldn’t respond to hold on to them. There was only one water station on the course. I grabbed a cup and my plan was to dump it on my head so I took a quick sip then dumped it on my face and head. I did it so quickly my brain didn’t process the fact that it was warm Gatorade quick enough. I laughed and said to myself, dude, you’re going to be sticky!
Shortly after the 2 mile mark we had to climb a hill and I was dreading it. I knew it would slow me and it sure did as I had another guy go past. At that point I knew I was no longer in the top 10. As I turned to make the final stretch to the finish my friend Amanda Perri when by me (great job Amanda!). I decided not to go after her…well more like I couldn’t…lol. She pulled ahead and I said to myself, you need to at least sprint it out. So I took a quick peek back to make sure no one else could pass me then went into a slow sprint through the finish line.
So I finished the 2.9 mile course in 20:26 in 13th place out of 234 with a 7:03 pace. I finished 1st in my age group so I got a nice coffee cup for that. Funny thing, when they called me for my award the guy said Dan Seaton; I almost didn’t go up but then realized he was talking about me. At first I thought he just made a mistake reading it but when I finally saw the timesheet that’s what they had my name on it. Now I get to rest up for the 10k on Sunday morning. It has a 7:45am start time so it should be much cooler J