After my breakdown last week, I opted to treat this week as a continued taper going for the 1-mile road race Saturday night.
The race offers $250/$150/$100 in prize money, so I just wanted to land in the top-3. 4:30 is almost guaranteed money, and that was my preliminary goal. Weather was 90°F/78°F at race time. I don't think heat is much of a handicap for the mile, but it was an especially swampy evening. It rained an hour before the race, and moisture hung so heavy that the air looked full of thick smog.
With 3 U-turns and another 90° turn going into the final 100m, the course was not designed for speed. I tempered my time goal when I saw the layout and opted to just try to compete. I got out well with the lead pack. My local rival was in the mix with a few HS'ers and another guy I didn't recognize. 33 at 1/8, 66 at 1/4 with the first U-turn. Felt fine. Another U-turn and then 1/2-mile in 2:16. Slowed way down but still in the midst of the pack. My rival had been leading, but he dropped back and the unknown shot to the lead. A couple HS'ers chased him and another older guy I didn't know. I tried to put my foot on the gas but found I was already red-lining.
Another U-turn and 3/4-mile in 3:25. Tried to find more speed but found I was tightening up. My rival took off and I couldn't match, so I focused on the other guys in front of me. Took the 90° turn to the finish, and had the older unknown within reach. I put the pedal to the floor, saw my vision go hazy as acid flooded my body. I ran down the one guy but came up well short of the others. Splits of 66, 70, 69, 70.
It was a FUN race. I'm impressed with the local club for putting on such a great and competitive event. Unfortunately I go to 3-6 against my rival, who finished 2nd, and I've got to even that score. The winner was 4:28 and 3rd place 4:32. It's quite possible my lapse in mental fortitude a week ago cost me the fitness to finish in the money, and I have to live with that. On the plus side, I'm fairly pleased with where my fitness is at this point in time. We're now 25 weeks from Houston, and I'm rolling right into the marathon build in better shape than I usually start a training cycle.