I think I was as prepared as I could be for the race today. I planned on a fairly easy start and to allow time to settle in. Hopefully leaving enough in the tank for the 4th and 5th mile hills.
I planned on running at or around lactate or 150-160 Heart rate. I hoped this would at least put me under 8 minute pace and hopefully if I can 7:50. I knew that the first mile would be fast as it is a down hill start. I guess I was pretty anxcious as I ran 7:00 for the first mile.
I realized 7:00 was too fast for my training but my heart rate was averaging 145, so I wasn't too concerned. I forced myself to slow down in the second mile to be sure I did not depleat my energy for the tough part of the race (mile 4 and 5). The second mile was 7:55 and 157 average HR. The third mile was 7:47 with no change in the average Heart rate. This told me I was settling in well and should be able to maintain close to that average for the finish.
Mile 4 and 5 were tough but not as grueling as I remembered. I strongly feel the X-Country running was the reason I felt better on these hills. I did both miles at 8:12 pace and kept my heart rate at a 158 & 160 average. My heart rate peak at the end of mile 5 was 169.
Mile 6 felt harder as I tried picking up the pace for a strong finish. I started picking off runners and passing as many as posible. I passed at least 20 runners during mile 6 and had a 7:51 pace with HR average of 163.
Once I could see the finish I decided to go for all I had. This was my strongest finish so far this year. My last .2 was 6:31 pace and a heart rate peak of 174.
Surely if I had pushed a little harder on the second and third miles, I might have gained 20 or 30 seconds. Of course it is so easy to look back after the race and say coulda--woulda--shoulda---I did lose about 25 seconds to stop and re-tie my right shoe...normally I would not have stopped but I had the chip on that shoe.
I am pretty happy with this race and plan on a 5 mile run tomorrow and Sunday (at the Pat's course)to simulate running tired....Right now all I wanted was to go home and do a cooldown swim.