As 2013 is the year of trail thus far, yesterday marked my long distance foray at my home's Broad Street Run, which is one of the premier ten milers in the country. Some things went well. Some did not. Overall, my assessment is so-so of an experience.
It all started earlier in the weekend I got my bib assignment of 932. I expected higher and more of a seeded number but that was not the case. I knew I could position myself in the corral right behind the seeded athletes so I would be fine. Then they announced clear bags for gear. I had to adjust for this. It was expected on some level but always takes a bit to set in and refocus. Not too bad. Where things get shaky are went rules are not enforced. This goes for people in the wrong start corral. At the line, there was a row of people who linked arms together as if they were keeping the corrals from intermingling. Nope. They were running. And not fast. So getting off the line was tough. Knowing if I had any chance to hit my goal, I had to hook up with a group. To get in that group, I had to swerve and work harder than I wanted/needed to. In short, this came back to hurt me. I was in a great pace but as I started to slide off the back around mile 4, I could not hook back on as felt slow. I just grinded out the rest of the race. Oddly enough, I didn't get more than a minute behind the group by the finish. At the end of the run, I crossed with a time of 53:24 for a 2:07 PR. However, I wanted to be under 53. So as you can tell, happy on one hand, disappointed on the other.
In retrospect, I do wonder if the lack of speed work hurt me. Yes, I have the ability to grind out long miles at a good pace but that pace is slower than a 5K or 10 mile. I've been operating on two ends of the spectrum which feels like I have been trying to have cake and eat it too. For the most part, it has been working. Just gets me thinking when I hit a so-so place with a race effort.
Can't dwell on Broad Street too long as I have a trail half marathon on the 18th and the biggy.....50 Mile on the 25th! Oh yeah!