Bit of head wind throughout. 25 second PR. Wanted more, but I ran as hard as I could for the day. Effort was up from the first mile. I'll write more later of course. Time with Megan and my good friends I haven't seen in a year.
Stayed in Indianapolis for a few days with Megan to see some of our friends who had a conference, which worked out well because the race wasn't too far away. Got up on race morning and picked up our friends. My friend Jeremy decided a few weeks ago to run. We picked up our bib, and I saw Julian, a local Lafayette barefoot runner (2:39 last year in Boston). I did 3 miles on the final miles of the course to check out the final stretch (a slight uphill grade with a windy grade into the finish). I warmed up slightly longer than I usually do (usually 2 miles when it is 30-45 degrees) and my warmup pace felt like I was walking. Did a few gentle pickups and went inside to drop my warmup stuff with Megan. Lined up and talked to Julian a bit. He told me that they would take it out fast and that given his current fitness he would run 6:10 to start. I told him I was going to try to hit ~5:53-5:55 for the first mile and work it down over the course of the first 10 miles and hit the last 5k as hard as I could.
First mile got going and I could see the leaders just in front of me. The pace felt slow for me based on my legs so I picked it up slightly. First mile was 5:55+, so 5:56 rounded. Effort felt a bit high. Two guys up front started to gap, while me and the two guys in front of me separated from the rest of the race. The first few miles were uneventful, but I worried about my effort, and I realized my goal of running just under 1:16-16:30 wasn't going to go down today. No matter, I tried to tell myself: "Look at your position. You are racing for place. Keep the splits just under PR pace, run as hard as you can, and put it down as a success." I stayed on the 3rd and 4th guys, trying to get with them to share the pace but my effort was already too high to push much. They didn't seem too cheesed off and one of the gents handed me his Gatorade cup at one point as I ran by and he and the other fellow got some liquids. I didn't really want it, but I thought it was kind of him so I took a sip. I basically stayed behind them until mile 12 when I worked to break them. I succeeded, but all three had already been passed by Julian around mile 8 or 9 I think (I got to watch his bare feet high-step some large gravel on a slight downhill).
Around mile 4 (I think) there was an overzelous young gent who was doing periods of walking. He tried to stay with me when I passed him around mile 6 or 7. Apparently he was not ready to handle the pace of the eventual 1:12 winner (I think the kid may have walked off the course). Mile 7 was a bit of a gradual climb that I didn't expect. This was also where we hit the quarter marathoners (yes, 6.55 miles), but I got a bit of downhill to make up for a few seconds. I was hurting, but I stayed pretty much evenly pace (taking elevation, turns, and obstacles into account). Around mile 8 or 9 I heard foot steps and looked over my shoulder slightly when I got a chance and Julian came up behind me. I greeted him with a "I knew it was you." He went by me and the two in front. I should have tried to stay behind him but I worried that my legs would lock up before the last few miles. He got me by 32 seconds and that is a good bit per mile over 3-4 miles when you are already red-lining
Wound through the last few miles of residential areas darting through racewalkers, powerwalkers, and old folks. I surged a little bit to test the legs and the two guys I had been with throughout the race. I dropped one guy, but the other guy came back. He was a little behind me on the hill but I started to pull away and got him before going over the grass median and across the road. I worried he would outkick me but he had nothing left. You hit mile 13 and there is a sharp uphill turn, which really stinks because you just get into your kick when you startighten out and you hit the finish. I got him by 8 seconds in the last ~.15-.20 miles.
I wanted a faster time, but I knew from mile 1 that I wasn't going to get it so I fought pretty hard and still got a nice little 25 second PR on a day that was fairly windy (12-14 MPH) and mostly a headwind (never felt like I got the wind behind me), but it was more annoying than it ever really felt like it was making me work harder (I am sure it made a little difference). This course is not as fast as Philly given that it has some rough patches where you run on across sidewalks and grass and a bit of gravel in patches, it winds, and the weather was not as good. I'm pleased. I'm still within my goal of sub-2:45 at Boston, which right now is obviously the overall focus. I will focus on running a sizable half PR this fall.
The rich chocolatey goodness: 5:56, 5:52, 5:58, 5:51, 5:50, 5:48, 5:58, 6:09 (hill), 5:51, 5:49, 5:55, 6:00, 5:58, :34