I am on a blog roll!
Last year was the first year I had ever run the Arnold Mills 4 Miler and I enjoyed the race, I also had a pretty decent race, running 22:16.
This year, I had no thoughts of running the race, but as it turned out, many Turtles were going to run, so I said what the hell.
Dave and I did a WO the Thursday prior, which went way better than expected. We then pushed our long run up to Saturday instead of Sunday to have one extra day to recover before the race, however that was one less day to recover from the WO before the long run. My hammies were screaming! It was a brutally humid day for the run too, but we got it done, 16 miles in the bank.
I ran easy Sunday and Monday and planned on running Arnold Mills as a work out. My plan was to start right around 6 min pace and try to pick it up.
I felt a bit sluggish on the warm up, but my hammies were way better than Saturday. The weather was way better too. The humid conditions of the early weekend were gone and we were left with sun, a slight breeze and warm, but not HOT conditions.
The gun went off and the heard of high school kids that run this race were off. Through the first ½ mile I must have been in 50th place. I felt smooth and relaxed. The GPS had around 6 to 6:10 pace throughout and I went through the mile in 5:53…so pretty much spot on. At this point I was passing loads of people and still felt pretty solid as we looped around back to the same road the mile is on to go through the 2 mile mark in 5:48; so far mission on track. After the 2 mile there is a slight downhill that I really tried to open it up on and track down the 2 runners ahead of me. I ended up catching and passing both of them prior to the 3 and could now see Dave ahead having his own battles. I went through 3 in 5:40.
The 4th mile of this course has a lot of sun and pretty much the only significant hill on the course (right around 3.3?) I felt pretty solid up the hill, way better than last year. You go back past the corner that has the most spectators and have a half mile to go. I was trailing another high school runner and I felt like I was gaining a bit. Just a bit passed where I was parked, the runner moves to the side of the road, stops and attempts to throw-up, I don’t believe anything came out, but it enabled me to get past him. However, that was short lived; whatever hacking he did over there must have made him feel better, because he went flying back past me. We turned back onto the main road, which is a slight downhill for about a quarter mile and then took the final right onto Arnold Mills Road and across the finish line in 23:12 in 27th place. Not too bad. I felt good, I didn’t die and I feel great today. Overall a success! How much faster could I have gone? Probably not much, but the simple act of not going out over my head, allowed me to feel stronger and run well late in the race. I never went to the well, keeping that work out mentality.
We ended up having around 10 to 12 Turtles at the race, depending on who actually “counts” as a Turtle. We enjoyed a couple beers hanging outside by the cars watching others finish. Not a bad way to spend the morning.