I came to Salt Lake City yesterday with Weston, and then stayed the night. Woke up early(4AM), ate some fruits snacks and a granola bar, then we drove over. I dropped Weston off at the 10k start line and then drove to the busses that drove us to the top. About 15 minutes before the race I went for a short warm up up the canyon and then came down. I felt pretty good, not ready for an all out race, but decent. When I talked to Coach Eyestone about running this race, he said to treat it like a long run, and I asked if I could run it at 5 flat pace, and he said that would be good. I was pretty nervous going into the race though, becuase the fastest mile I've run since nationals was 5:40 and now I was trying to run 13 miles 40 seconds faster. Then the race started.
I knew if I wanted to run 5 flat pace, I should run with Brett Hales and Riley Cook. Well, the first mile was out of my comfort zone for sure. It is pretty downhill, but usually I work into races like this as they're long. Well, they didn't. That first mil was hard, and then after going through the second and seeing we were at about 9:25, I asked them what time they were going for. They said 1:04-05, so I thought that maybe if I was going to run 5:00 pace, maybe I'd just put a bit in the bank. I was feeling pretty good at 3 miles into it and it felt like we were just cruising, however I had new shoes I was trying out and they were hurting my feet. I was a bit scared of getting an injury, but gambled it and kept going. At mile 4, Riley seemed to speed it up, and Brett fell off. After another half mile, I also fell off. I could've stayed with him here, but made a conscious decision to slow it down, and if I'm close to Riley with 5k to go(when it gets flat), then I'll go for it to catch him, I didn't want to overdo it and have this race put me out for a few days. Slowly he built a small gap on me from miles 5-7. I felt pretty good during these portions of the race. At one point I heard Garrett Barton call out and tell me to catch him, so that gave me some encouragement. I came through 10km somwhere around 29:30 and halfway around 31:10 I think. I thought at this point I may have overdone it and gone out too hard, but I felt good. At mile 8 I started to feel fatigued, and that was about the same time I stopped thinking about my feet hurting.
The next few miles felt like they went on forever. I knew I was going to run a good time, but was feeling pretty tired. It's been a long time since I've ran a race this long and it was hard to focus. After mile 8 I started passing people, and I wasted some energy weeving through people. I should've just focused on getting to one side of the path and staying on it. The last few miles were hard to push, I was tired and it took a while for me to set a goal for the next few miles. I decided to try and go 1:05 and that seemed doable. With 2 miles to go, it seemed that I needed to run 10:30 for them and I'd do it. Well, my watch started to get a bit off the distance the mile markers were, so when I thought I had it at the end I cruised it in.
It was a good effor tthough for the day. I believe I can go faster, but it might take better preparation, mentally and physically; however I do think that I underestimated how hard it would be to run 65 minutes even on this course(the majority of the course is considerably downhill), and I think I paid the price as it took more out of me. I don't know if Coach will allow me to run another during the next few years, but it was a fun experience. I'm excited for cross country even more.
Mile splits according to my watch: 4:39, 4:47, 4:48, 4:42, 4:48, 4:48, 4:43, 5:09, 5:00, 5:08, 5:15, 5:10, 5:18, 49 for the last .16(watch said it was .16, but it was likely just the extra I was weeving through people the last 4 miles).