I've been thinking about this race all week. Baiting BQ1's faster brother and talking smack about not racing. But, it is going to be a race. Knowing that I'm not in shape to run a PR for the distance, but right on the edge to be able to think about placing in my age group. A month ago I would have only thought a 1:35 or so would be doable. This week I've been talking myself into thinking a 1:30 is possible. Especially if I'm ever going to run a sub 3:00 marathon. A 1:25 half marathon should be my PR, yet I'm stuck at 1:27. I've run that time in at least 3 attempts, but in the last 2 it was always in a marathon training cycle and with no taper. This week I'm doing a teeny taper. Nothing as drastic as a marathon taper.
BQ1 and I have been joking about how long we will be able to hold pace before we blow up. His main goal is to keep his brother from going out to fast and keeping him under control to run at least a 1:30 Crazy thing, this pace is my goal marathon pace in the coming marathon training cycle. Still a couple of weeks away from the start of that cycle. That's thing that keeps sticking in my mind. This pace should be doable, question is for how long. Can we really keep it going for 13.1 miles or will we blow up at 8 miles? It'll be fun lining up with at least 4-5 of us that are all in pretty similar shape and racing against each other. It'll be only the second time I've raced head to head against any of these guys.
Couldn't ask for better weather for racing, clear blue sky, no wind and temperatures in the 40's to start and only low 50's by the time we finished. The fast Wich was able to PR, huge and not get pulled out to fast by me. His splits were a perfect negative split. I settled down after the first mile and ran according to plan, right around 6:50 pace. Few little surges when someone would yell my name or the crowd got me pumped. Blow up came a whole lot earlier than expected. Both me and BQ1 separated from the fast Wich, and then I couldn't even stay with BQ1. I struggled home slowing mile after mile. I slowed enough that I got passed by 5 people, but still was able to pass 3 runners who blew up worst than me. Personal worst for me 1:33.
It was fun to watch the race unfold for all of use trying to run 1:30. I never could catch the first pack, but the fast Wich caught at least 2 of them. After we left Oakland's mansion going up main to the square I was in the second pack of only about six. All of these guys, plus the pack ahead of us were able to go 1:30 or quicker. BQ1 barely missed the 1:30 mark.
Post race was celebrated with some Beck's Octoberfest and BBC Dark Star Porter. Found a shady spot to enjoy the beer and wait for the results. Only one of our group placed in any of the age group awards and his was a time was about like mine, 6 or more minutes slower than last year. Nice to have a race like this in our hometown.