First mile in 5:20 which put me 30" off the lead group. It was completely unrealistic in thinking I could run with them. I am not at their level yet and obviously have a lot more work to do. I was able to hover at 5:40-5:45 pace for the rest of the race. I felt like I was on my single speed mountain bike!! Just one gear. I didn't have the ability to push and run fast at the same time. I thought I felt good while warming up, and I didn't feel terrible during the race. I just didn't have anything in my legs that would allow me to hold a faster pace. The effort on the day was great for me and I think that I only had one lapse in mental strength in the last 800 meters when I was catching a runner in front of me.. until he heard me coming and kicked. Then I eased up as there was no one behind me and no one else in front of me. No HR monitor- I wanted to just run on my "edge" by feel. Which I did.
An anonymous commenter said that I need to race to truly test my fitness.. if that is true then I am in very poor condition. Which I do not believe. The problem that I see with racing often is that in order to train for your "A" race then your other races are never done while rested. I think that aerobic tests with a HR monitor (this is specific for the marathon) are far superior tests than races of relatively short distances. At the elite end of the running spectrum (of which I am not even close), the best guys do not race often. I have a definitive weakness when it comes to racing that I am having a hard time figuring out. I think I do need to race more often, but I need to be realistic in my expected results as I won't taper for a workout. Which really is what a race without a taper is.
I feel good about the effort today but am disappointed in my placing and time. I was 14th in 57:33. The winner went in 51:00. I got crushed!