services.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/816801861_EQpMk-L-300×199.jpg” alt=”" width=”300″ height=”199″ /> Nate Jenkins and Ruben Sanca went out hard as expected. I started half way between them and the pack. After a 4:46 opening mile I decided to drift back to the back rather than running alone or trying to go with Nate and Ruben. It ended up being a mistake but I”ll get to that. Andrea Sorgato and Justin Lutz caught me and we ran together. I knew neither of them were in great shape coming off injuries/illness. Every time I tried to pick the pace up at all the tucked in. With the rolling hills and wind I didn”t think I could just run away from them. Mostly, it”s not something I”m good at and decided to wait until the last mile unless the faltered earlier. Another mistake. We settled into ~5:05 pace (variable with wind and terrain). I never felt like I was going that hard but every time I tried to pick it up my legs felt heavy and I didn”t want to run alone with heavy legs. We hit the 5 mile mark and Andrea started turning the screws. Justin fell off quickly. He seemed very comfortable at 5:05 pace but when we went to 4:50 pace it was too much. He even said the first mile in ~4:49 was the fastest mile he”d run in months.
Andrea and I kept pushing without any big moves. I seemed to be in control but near maxed out at 4:48 pace. We were together at 6 miles and I was going to wait for a sprint finish but Andrea went with 400m to go and he went hard. I tried to keep up but really had no answer. He got 5 meters on me very quickly and the wheels came off. We both slowed in the final 200m. It may be the first time I”ve ever been outkicked in a road race and I got blown away.
This was by far the most disappointing race I”ve had in years. It was disappointing on a number of levels. First, I thought I was in better shape than this and it”s always disappointing to run slower than expected. Secondly, I was focusing on this as one of my primary, peak races for the spring (in contrast Andrea decided to just hop in after taking 5 weeks off following indoors). Third, I got outkicked which is always frustrating. Fourth, I finished out of the money and I really needed the money. Mostly though, I was disappointed in myself because I don”t know if I gave it everything I could. I really settled during those middle miles. If this was supposed to be a big race for me I should have thrown my cards on the table and gone with Nate and Ruben. Then if I fell apart and finished out of the money at least I would have known that I gave it my all.
I was really hoping to run ~30:30 today and then go for a track PR in the 10k in May. Now I”m really not sure what my plan is. I don”t
know how much faster I could have run today but not 35s faster. I”m also annoyed because my season will be cut short due to a work trip to the mountains at the beginning of June, so I don”t have time to just wait for my fitness to come around.
More than anything I am incredibly frustrated at my lack of progress. I was in similar shape 3 years ago off 5 months of training after 5 years off. Then 2 years ago I was in far better shape. Over the past 2 years, I got worse and then plateaued at this new lower level. I was way better 10 years ago when I trained like an idiot (but very hard). Things seem to be coming around finally but this race certainly didn”t show it. It was a worse performance than my debut half marathon over a month ago. Not sure where I”m going from here. I guess I will evaluate my training and
then just keep plugging away. This can be an awfully cruel sport at times.
More information on my splits and such can be found here.
Results can be found here.