This day started off stressfully, I had been asked to do the overnight at work on saturday night, and since they had no one I agreed to work it as long as someone would relieve me at 7 am instead of 8 so I could make it to the race. Of course 7 am rolls around on sunday morning, and no one was there. Apparently my relief had never gotten the e-mail to come in early, and I wound up there til 8. I missed my car pool that I was meeting in Concord, and when I got out I hit the road for Amherst. A whole lot of speeding got me to the race by 10:30. Luckily I was able to have Abbey grab my number and get my stuff ready to go, I quick changed into my running stuff, and was ready to hit the line at 10:40. I wish the race had started then, cause I had a lot of adrenaline pumping. It was tough to try and get the adrenaline under control, and wait that next 20 minutes for the race.
I started out a few rows back from the start with Scott Clark of the CMS masters team and marvelled at all the top NE talent that had assembled for the first race of the GP series. I tried to stay nice and relaxed and with in myself as the gun went off and we got out. It was pretty crowded that first half mile or so, and I was fighting the urge to try and get on the outside and get around guys. I controlled myself and let the jostling and tight running bring me through that first mile at 5:48 right on pace. The second mile is really fast and I was scared to go too fast, but I saw Dave Dunham hammering down the hill and decided he must know what he was doing and followed him right along. This brought me through mile 2 in 5:17. I was glad for the cushion as I ate it all up on the next two miles on the hills. I thought I was keeping a pretty steady pace on those sections, but I slowed down to 6:18 and 6:23 which was quite a bit slower than I wanted. I tried to stay positive about the tough miles and focused on pushing that 5th mile. I was never able to get rolling the way I'd hoped I would in the second half. I ran 5:57 and 5:55 for miles 5 and 6 which I wasn't so happy with, I'd hoped to drop back down under 5:50 for those miles, but it was just not coming easy. the 7th and 8th miles I forgot to get the split but I was 11:48 for those two miles. I was working hard by this point, and had resorted to trying to run 2 minutes on 1 minute on just to try and break up the effort, and maybe get the miles to pass a little faster. I think this helped as I dropped the pace a couple seconds even though everything was getting pretty difficult. I missed the mile marker for mile 8 and so I'm not sure what my final splits are, but I'm pretty happy with how I raced them. I focused hard on pushing that long flat, before we started climbing in the 8th mile, and once we started I thought I moved well going up that hill. When we turned onto the final hill around mile 9 there was that horrible head wind, it hit me like a brick wall, and I was struggling to keep moving forward. I regretted letting the pack in front of me get away even more then, because I would have liked to have someone to tuck in with. As I topped that last hill I saw the Mahoney's cheering on the runners, I greeted him with a nice display of projectile vomiting. I was surprised at the volume, as I didn't think I'd ingested nearly that much before the race. I got passed by some people including some CMS masters as I recovered from throwing up. I really didn't want to get past in the last mile, and was happy that I was able to drop it down and throw in a good last 400 to get by the guys who'd passed me there. I felt bad for highschool kicking on CMS guys that I know and respect, but I knew that Dan Verrington wouldn't feel bad for holding me off, so I got down to it and kicked for all I was worth going around that parking lot.
All in all, I was pretty happy with the race. I raced the whole thing, and I worked hard. I'm a little bit dissapointed that all I got was a 59:42 for what seemed like a very hard effort, but it's a tough course. After the race one friend had noted that I am "this close" to being back and I think he may have been right. I'm about 2 or 3 minutes slower than what I would like to be once I'm back, but I do think he's right, because once I turn that corner that 2-3 minutes won't be so difficult to get. Congrats to my CMS team mates on our 3rd place finish, you guys are animals.