Overcast, 80 degrees, man was this better than last year! I was disappointed a little that we didn’t get to run through Angel’s stadium again, but the in-park portion of the course was better attended by characters, parade floats were out and turned on, and the run through the park was even better than I remember. With water at ten of the thirteen mile points, thousands of spectators, cheerleaders, scout troups, and more, this is definitely the best of the races I’ve done, and I look forward to doing it again next year.
I started out with a 1:45 pace group, and having the support, distraction, and people to talk to kept me at a strong pace, and pushed me a few times that I needed pushing, and kept me happier in times that I needed nothing. Rachel was a great pacer, though a bit of a cynic, and kept me chuckling at her comments on “training the spectators” and her commentary on racing throughout the world. Her helpful comments like “relax on the downhill and stay perpendicular to the ground” or “pump those arms and get yourself up this hill” helped keep us at a steady pace, up and down, and her group seemed to stay strong.
At mile ten, after sprinting through to “high-five” the hands of scores of boy scouts, I decided to keep my break-away lead from the pacers and push the last three miles, as I did in my last PR. And like Shamrock’n, I was able to keep the pace up, knock out a few miles at a 185+ HR, and take a few minutes off my steady pace. I loved it, and am very glad to add this to my results page, especially when I see that I’m in the top 4% of racers and top 8% of my AG. w00t! An average HR of 177 and max of 195 says I really did push myself, but it stayed sub-180 for the first ten miles, and only in the final push did I spike upwards.
I trained less, and did better. Racing smarter, having help and support to push me, and knowing when and where I can push, cut another two minutes off my PR. Add in a flat race with great weather and fun, and this race was wonderful once again. I hope to be back next year!