I did not know what to expect going into this race. I’ve only been back to “normal” mileage for about two months. I’ve only had a handful of speed sessions and no sustained speedwork. I told people that I felt I could be anywhere from a 34:30 to a 36:30. My plan was to go out as conservative as possible for the course and work from there. I hit the mile mark in 5:09, and felt very good about the effort to get there. At this point, there was still a crowd but no one I knew well. I could see Scott ahead so I thought I would gear off him. My next mile was 5:12, and I was very happy with that. At this point I started making up ground on Scott but he dropped off (I later found this was his plan from the beginning). At this point I also started doing a little back-and-forth with Brad Phippen. This really helped me maintain focus. Mile three I slowed as expected with the flatter mile, 5:37. I settled in there and ran the next two in 5:38 and 5:37. However, during the fifth mile I started to feel the wheels coming off. Also, at this point Brad passed me for the third and final time. My last mile was a disappointing 6:04. However, overall I am VERY excited about this performance. I ran 13 sec faster than last year (though I placed 4 spots further back). This was a good confidence builder and helped me realize that I had not lost as much fitness during my “time off” as I had feared. It also points out a big hole in my training and that is some longer interval/pace work. This used to be a staple of mine and I’ve stayed away since my injury but I think it is time to start back with the pace runs and longer repeats/Fartleks.