(photo credit goes to the Washington Running Report - Henry Wigglesworth battling at Pike's Peek, his torso clad in an intimidating Dojo singlet and his eyes filled with metaphorical murder)
It was a great day for racing on Sunday, with temps right around 50 degrees and a (mostly) tailwind on the point-to-point course from Shady Grove to White Flint.
For the first time this season, I made a concerted effort to taper and treat a non-marathon as a serious race. This meant a moderate 2 X 2 mile workout on Thursday, a light day Saturday, and actually doing some focused hydrating and eating on race night/morning. With this prep, I went in with a goal of running something around 35 minutes for the 10k, which would be a PR for me.
The race started off pretty quick, and I ended up running about 5:20 through the first mile. I was running alongside local legend Jim Hage for a bit, until he had to put on the breaks to tie his shoe. Jim lost to the vagaries of chance and laces, I continued on. I figured 5:20s was probably a bit ambitious, so I relaxed a bit and cruised through the next two miles went right around 5:30's, and hit the 5k split in 16:59, which basically amounts to a 5k PR for me (that is, the fastest I've run since at least college). At that point, my primary goal was to keep on clicking off 5:30's as best as I could.
Over the last three miles, I experienced the thrill of passing some of the best road racers around. Granted, these were the guys who packed it in after they realized they weren't going to finish in the money, but I take it as a sign of progress that I stayed close enough that I could still catch them on once they decided they had enough. (This is reminiscent of my high school teammates who boasted that they managed to beat HS XC legend Sharif Karie in a race. The omitted portion of this story is that Karie was curled up wretching on the side of the course when my teammates passed him...). Crossed the line: 34:09! Big shock! Henry, who had silently been stalking me the entire race, cruised in a mere 10 seconds or so back, managing to win a stacked age group.