Well, I love a race that starts late enough for me to sleep in! I got David off to skiing with my sister then got out the door to the race. I had a packet for Dave and Jonathan, so I couldn't be late, but I was. Stupid, regular me. Anyway, I parked further away from the start than I thought I had and ran a 1/2 mile warm up there and back. It was good to loosen up the legs a bit! I visited with the pace team, Melanie and Chad and then it was time to take off.
As we lined up Dr Tom Boud found me. I have paced him every year I've done Riverton half. The first year I paced 1:55 and it was my first solo pacing assignment. I was super nervous, but because I'd met him just a couple weeks before and he had casted my daughter's arm I knew I had to do a good job! He was barely able to keep up with me and I lost him the last couple miles, but then he caught me so we could finish together that first year. He was one of the people that made me love pacing! Anyway, he was running with me again this year and I found out that he had qualified for Boston and that he was headed there in a couple weeks for his first! It was great to chat about what makes Boston so great and what he should do there. I love running friendships! Even if I do only see some friends once a year :)
I told everyone I'd been perpetually sick and broken the past few months and so I was doubful I could hold the pace, but that I'd do my best. 1:50 would be the longest, fastest run I'd done since October! I fell short of my 1:50 in St George too. I told Tom more than once that I should give the sign to him, because he was looking strong and capable. I did pretty good keeping on pace or better and faking it for the first 6 miles. But, then at the aid station before the hill I had to stop and drink before I could swallow my gu, because my throat is still dry and with the headwind I was parched and could hardly breathe my throat was so dry. When I walked for those 10 feet I still had 50 seconds in the bank, but I lost my group. They were being a good wind block for me too! I've done my share of leading the draft for the pace group in this race that this year they were kind enough to give it back.
On the way up the hill I met my neighbor Victor. I've seen him running and have talked to him a few times. He is older (maybe late 50s?), but a great guy. He was worried about keeping up with me and I told him he was looking strong and great and would easily make it in at the pace! I stayed with him and leap frogged him while chasing Tom, the yellow shirt guy, the red shirt guy and the pink tank girl. They were my group before I had to drink.
There wasn't another aid station until mile 9 and with the hills and wind and my throat, I really could've used more frequent aid stations. Just as we turned onto lovers lane I saw my running peep (I can't remember his name!) and asked if he had water. He got out a full water bottle for me and I held it while I ran for the next mile! I drank every drop and tossed it at the next aid station. I tried to grab a cup of gatorade, but I missed it when I tried to grab it off the table. The volunteers weren't handing it out, we had to grab it ourselves...ugh.
I finally was able to start getting some speed back in my legs on the last mile. I finished with an AP of 7:55 for that mile. Jonathan met me about 1/2 mile to the finish (he was on his bike, he made the right choice and didn't run). I told him I was going to be 1:52...beause I'd been a couple minutes behind pace each time I had checked the last few miles. I didn't look at mile 12 though...missed the mile marker. I came in alone at 1:51:35. 10 seconds per mile slower than I should've been. Those hills and the wind just killed me.
I guess I should've been happy that after 3 months I can still pull off a near 1:50 with little to no training or speed work, but I'm not. Melanie finished 2nd overall female with an astonishing 1:31, Mike and Chad finished just in front of her. It was a rough day for Chad, I think the slowest he has ever run this course. Kind of like me I guess :P I hate to say I run with these people, because lets be honest...I don't! But, I love them like my family and I look forward to the miles I get to spend with them each week. So, I'm going to stop whining about it, suck it up and just enjoy the time I get with them.
Overall it was a great race and fun to see lots of running peeps. I just wish I could run a normal pace for me again. That 1:50 wouldn't be a tough pace, but that I could eaily breeze through it like I used to all the time. Sigh. It'll come back....