I have a bunch friends and family living in the Elmhurst area so I have raced this event every year since I began running in 2008. A group of us runners and non-runners get together for breakfast afterwards. It’s an odd race distance but appropriate being held on the 4th of July. It’s a well run race and it’s a CARA race circuit event with cash prizes. If you’ve been reading my blog at all, you know this means SPEED. It also feels like a track meet with all of the running clubs in uniform.
My goal every year is to get past the bottom of the train underpass before the leaders pass on the opposite way. It’s slightly hilly so I couldn’t base a pace off my 5k PR. I warmed up with some stretching and 1.5 miles. The race started on time and the only complaint I have is when really slow runners line up at the front. It means the first downhill 1/4 mile is spent shooting the gaps and finding passing space. Since I’m familiar with the area I know approximately where the 1/2 mile point is and I cross it at 3:22. Mile 1 time is 7:01. My new speed mantra is “stay relaxed”. Run fast, but in control.
As I got to the top of the far side of the underpass, here came the leaders and they were flying. Mission accomplished. Mile 2 time was 7:02. We reach the 180 degree turn around without any congestion and as usual I couldn’t spot anyone I know. Time slipped during Mile 3 to 7:15. I must be relaxing too much. It’s a cruel uphill finish but I’m passing people. My other new thing is to pick out a “victim” in the home stretch. Usually a male runner about my age who is ahead of me. It gives me a little extra boost to finish strong. I pass my victim in the last 100 yards. Mile 4 time was my fastest at 6:54. A friend of mine is only 29 seconds behind me. Nice job Ed. Final time was 28:14 (7:04 pace). My fifth PR this year and beat my previous PR by over a minute. 21st in my age group. Speed kills and I can’t match these boys.
Back to marathon training. 42 miles on tap for this week and 46 for next week.