Ran the Blacksmith Fork Freedom Run today, a rare 15K race. I got up a little before 5AM, ate breakfast, and then grabbed my flats and jogged down to Carson's house for about a 2-mile pre-warmup warmup. Then we all carpooled with Carson's brother and sister, and one of their friends.
Got to the start line around 6:10, so plenty of time. We warmed up by running two miles up the canyon, and then back down, so 4 miles total. Perhaps it was too much pre-race running (6 miles total), but I needed the mileage more than the race.
Weather was pretty good. Nice and cool at the start line, maybe around 50 degrees. Didn't see any wind while driving up the canyon, so I was not counting on the famous Blacksmith Fork tailwind. Oh well. Managed one good portapot stop, and then it was time for the race to start. Narnia did not exist this year. Actually, the two portapots were there, but the race portapots were not in front of them, so they were exposed for the whole world to see. The magic was gone. But I used them anyway.
They actually started on time, which was great compared to last year. They were really ready for the crowd this year. I took it out pretty hard the first mile. My top-tier goal was to run around 46:00, which would be 15:20 per 5K, and about 4:57/mile. A tough goal, but I split pretty close to that at Utah Valley!
First mile was 4:58, but I knew it wasn't happening. Was working too hard and breathing too hard. The little tiny rollers in the canyon felt like big hills, and the downhills didn't feel big enough. My running felt uncoordinated, like I was lumbering rather than smoothly gliding. In other words, I was feeling pretty flat. But from taking it out hard, I was by myself from the gun, and it stayed that way to the finish.
I thought perhaps it would get better, but the race rolled by pretty much the same the whole. I mean, it wasn't terrible or anything, in fact it was pretty decent, but my last race was UVM, so I think I was expecting to feel like that again. Mile 2 was 5:04, then 5:06 for Mile 3. 5K was probably about 15:40.
Miles 4-6 were more of the same. Still on the downhill, but indeed we did not get a canyon wind today. In fact we picked up a slight headwind by the middle of the race and stayed through the end. Nothing major, but you notice it when you're trying to race into it. 5:06, 5:02, and 5:14 for Miles 4-6. Not sure what happen on Mile 6, probably the headwind picking up. 10K split was probably about 31:40. Waayyy slower than UVM. I think I've decided that Provo Canyon is quite a bit faster than Blacksmith Fork, though.
The end of mile 7 is the big hill of the course. Tried to work the hill, and hit 5:19 for the split. The first bit of mile 8 is uphill too, and then it's pretty flat. 5:22 for mile 8. By now I was out in the sun, but thankfully it stayed quite cool out, and was still great temperatures for racing. Mile 9 is downhill, with a really sweet downhill at the end of the mile as you approach downtown Hyrum. 5:09 for Mile 9. Then the last 0.3 to the finish was 1:29, as I tried to pick it up some.
My "official" finish time was 47:50. The timing mat was not turned on yet, so we used one of the race official's watch time, which matched mine pretty well. So it's all good. I definitely expected to run faster and to feel smoother, but I'm grateful to win the race, and to break 48-minutes, which is a nice barrier at the 15K distance (3xsub-16 5K's in a row). So it was a course best and a 15K PR, and a win. Gotta take it! Josh Steffen was 2nd and Kevin Dickey was 3rd. Carson was 4th. Official times were kind of mixed up for the top people, so hopefully everyone kept a watch time.
After the race I cooled down another 4 miles with Carson and his brother Todd. We ran up the course, and about 12 different people told us, "Hey, you're going the wrong way!" Each person thought they were being original. I usually told them that we had to go back because I left my windows down. The cooldown gave me 19 miles total for the day.
Stayed around for the awards and the raffle. I didn't win anything in the raffle, but the prize for 1st overall was a very cool pottery bowl. It's extremely huge. Not sure what I'll do with it, but it's unique and one of the nicer prizes I've won.
So it was a beautiful day and a nice day to race. Met some new people, saw a lot of bloggers (especially at Scott's pre-race BBQ yesterday, which was a great time), and got a little sun. A successful Saturday.