This has been a crazy and tough year, mostly because of the
changes at work/life. Definitely not because of hard track work or tough tempo
runs... In fact such a large percentage of my runs have been between 8 and 10
minute pace I was starting to get some serious doubts that I could even break 3
hours at UVM. The good news is even without the structured workouts this year
today turned into a huge confidence boost for next Saturday.
The last time I ran an official “8K” was in 2004! When I ran
a 28:49. My PR was in 2000 running at the Washington University Invite as a
Knox Alumni and that was a 27:24 on the golf course in Forest Park. So I really
didn’t know what to expect although with the downhill I was hoping to break the
PR but over a decade later and a bit removed from collegiate running :) I
really did not have a gauge for the day.
As far as this downhill goes, I’ve run a number of times
down Emigration and probably 100 times down City Creek and though I’d driven up
Mill Creek a bunch of times this was my first time running the road there. It
is a screamer. Because of another crazy week at work my plan was to just use
this run as a workout. I know that is a bit of a discrepancy with the goal of a
PR above but downhill… Also, I ended up staying up preparing for a garage sale
until 1am the night before. Then got up at 4:30am to head to the start. Got to
number pick-up right at 5am and then did the unthinkable. I ran to the start.
Now partly because of my sleep deprived state and partly
because I wasn’t paying attention I took a wrong turn up. I turned at the light
right by the Olympus shopping center to head up. Luckily I figured this out and
got back on course by cutting through the neighborhood. This did add on an
extra mile + so my warm-up was just over a 10K. The missed turn really got my
heart pumping and I pushed the pace for the warm-up more than I should have but
ended up getting to the start with only 5 minutes to spare so things workout
for a reason. Here’s the image of that portion.
Now at the start I saw Allie and James. It was good to talk
to them briefly. I really feel so disconnected from the blog lately as I have
really barely had time to post much less look in on people. I apologize for
that. I did notice a few guys that looked like they would work me but just
decided to go for it. Because of the blood pumping from the warm-up I started
quick. I was in the lead for about half mile and then Tim Stringfellow passed
me. I did not know who he was but he looked strong and I figured that was the
end of it. I stuck like glue to him the rest of the time in the canyon he had
about 5-10 seconds on me at any time. Then as we passed the booth at the mouth
of the canyon I caught him AND pulled ahead. I thought I had it at that point
but out of know where he came back and I was broken. He buried me and put a 22
second gap on me in the last half-mile or so. Ouch! I might as well have been
walking at that point. I’m just very happy he was there because he pulled me to
a nearly 2 minute (aided) PR!!! Final time was 25:32 on the Garmin, but I’ll
take the 25:29.52 the chip gave me! Image and splits below.
Here are the splits for if the image is removed later...
4:59 (5:29 pace)