I'll fill this in more later. Nice race today, there were highs and lows to this one, but overall, I'm coming along. Not sure why I'm still running slower than last year, but there's time for that to be worked out.
Ok, so I was feeling a lot of pressure today to repeat my performance from last year. I've put in a lot more miles, and I always feel like more miles should equal faster running. For some reason I haven't been able to duplicate the results I had by this point last year, even though I'm averaging about 15 mpw more.
The start of the race was crazy and crowded. I had to really focus on protecting my space and trying to avoid going down on the uneven first 800m. I quickly found Dylan and Tanner and latched on to them. Our plan was to hang together at 5:10 pace for awhile and then see how things went.
We went through the mile in 5:13 and 2 miles in 5:12 for 10:25. The front group was still bunched and congested. Mile 3 started at the bottom of the hilly section, and I was able to find some room and start working my way up. 5:04 third mile for 15:29, reaching 5k in 16:03. Fourth mile was pretty uneventful, other than feeling really good. I reached 4 miles in 20:31, so 5:02 for that one. Miles 3 and 4 felt so good, I thought I was going to be able to hold that pace through the finish, but I rolled my ankle going into mile 5, and I guess I lost a lot of steam going up into the hills. I reached 8k in 25:45 and 5 miles in 25:54, so 5:23 for that one. I was really feeling the race by this point, and I struggled to finish in a 5:10 final mile.
I'm really encouraged by how good the middle miles felt. If I hadn't laid an egg so bad on the 5th mile, I might be really happy with this race. At least it's a step in the right direction. I'm hoping that I'm just peaking later than last year. I'll start to slowly bring my mileage down from here on out, we'll see how that affects things.