This was a race in Madison, WI. We were there meeting my parents, who had flown in from Europe to visit for a week.
It was a cold, foggy morning. The warm-up was labored but I got through it decently, with some good strides. At the start line, there were a few guys who looked like they may be competition and, indeed, one of those took off very fast.
I tried holding on but had to let go after maybe 200 yards. I looked back and the next guy back was too far back to wait for. Alas, a race all by myself, I thought. But I was wrong. There was a big hill after a quarter mile and the guy ahead of me really charged up the hill. At this point, I didn't think I would catch back up at all. But on the way down, he was suddenly started shaking his arms and slowing down, basically looking like he had stiffened up completely coming up the hill. I caught back up and we ran together for about a mile.
Then another big hill came and he charged ahead of me again. I just couldn't hold on. But at the top, the same thing happened. He slowed down dramatically and I caught back up even before the downhill came. Once it came, I leaned forward a little and pulled away from him.
That's when the fog was starting to lift. It was just me and the lead-out bike and I turned on my iPod. Suddenly, the legs felt great. I didn't even look back for a few miles.
It was probably a negative split, mostly because the first half was hillier than the first but also because I felt great at the end. Overall, the race was relaxed and I feel I could have gone harder had there been closer competition. I ended up winning by almost two minutes in 34:45. I am very happy with the time. I haven't been training as much as I have wanted; while that is not beneficial in itself, it has certainly left me with fresh legs.
The Girl ran well. She won easily, finishing over two minutes ahead of second place so she ran it a little slower that she had expected. Her time was 42:05, which is very good but a little below the shape she is in right now. I think her taper was a little weak as well. Besides being the fastest, she also had the best legs at the race:
This is her accepting the, somewhat large, award, Lorax in arm.
The best part of this race was actually the kids race. Both the older kids entered the mile race. Daughter took my advice and started out slowly and ended up doing really well. She won a certificate for Culver's so she was pretty happy.
Son did a lot of standing and jogging in place but once in a while he would sprint in the right direction for a while.
My dad ran it in 58 minutes and won the 60+ age group. He is running injury free at 62 so I'm hoping I have his leg genes.