After a sound night's sleep I woke up ready to go. I took a really hot shower to loosen me up and shake off the cobwebs, quickly got dressed and headed down to Montgomery. I was greeted by Duane at my car, and then just a minute later found James and John, who I'd been wanting to meet for a while. Even Eric stopped by for a minute. We talked for a few and then I broke away to begin the process of warming up.
I wasn't as bad off as I'd expected, but I was still pretty nervous about the race. Just before the start Hilary found me and was bubbling over with excitement. She was the distraction I needed, and almost managed to hug all the nervousness out of me. When the corral filled up I tried to keep my mind busy by chatting with those around me. Dave snapped a picture of me and Duane, I spoke briefly to Frank Garcia, and I even got a chance to talk with Lynn, the woman who bested me at the Woodland Wallahatchie 10k a few weeks ago.
After spotting the hand cyclists a couple of minutes head start the siren went off for the rest of us. The first two miles up Jefferson and into Capitol Heights amounted to about 140' of climb. As expected, it felt like it kept me from going out too fast, but looking back on my splits I averaged around 7:10/mi. I'd expected to start out the first couple of miles at my marathon pace of 7:30/mi.
The next five miles were mostly flat and I was able to pick up the pace quite a bit. I stayed right around a 6:50/mi pace, with little fluctuations. At the 7-mile turn, however, I started to slow a little. Despite eating a Gu my splits started to drop to around the 7:10-7:20/mi range. Still, I felt pretty good and was pleased to be staying with some of the other runners around me since the beginning.
The start of mile 10 meant it was time to climb South Perry. It slowed me to a 7:25/mi pace for that mile, though I recovered just before reaching High St and was rewarded with the stretch down Dexter. The last mile felt short, but I didn't care when I rounded the corner to the finish and saw the clock.
|Me and General Funk. Check out his|
awesome jacket with all the patches!
Shortly after finishing I was greeted by Hilary and her dad, General Dave Funk. I was thrilled to learn that she smashed her 5k goal by two minutes! And she placed 3rd in her age group, too! So proud!
All in all it was an ideal race day. Good weather, good course and great friends. Congratulations to the City of Montgomery for improving on what was already a good race and kudos for involving Joy to Life. Also, a special thanks to all the volunteers that helped make it all happen.