There is no doubt Saturday's race was a sub par, disappointing effort. I ran 6 seconds slower than I did on a slightly different course last year. Not much difference then you may think. However, last year's race was run less than 12 hours after I had run a 15:31 PR on the track!
Immediately after the race I was trying to seek some positives from the race but was struggling to find any! I sent off a concerned email to Coach, even questioning whether we needed to reevaluate goals and change the training plan for Richmond in two weeks! The race had definitely given me pause for thought....
By the evening however I had started to look at things a little differently and sent off another, less pessimistic, email and waited for the wise words of my coach to see what he thought about everything.
The race itself went thus...I had a good warm up and was feeling good on the start line. I had spotted and chatted with Bert Rodriguez so knew a win was out of the question but at least I would have someone to chase after. Other than that the competition looked few and far between- taking this race off the Grand Prix schedule definitely had a big impact on the number of racers Saturday morning and the quality of the field.
Immediately I fell behind Bert but was fine with this as he appeared to be running way under 5 minute pace! I went through the 'easy' mostly downhill 2 mile marker in 10:25. I had been running alone the whole way. Given the nature of the course the time was probably just about right if I wanted to attack sub 21 as planned but I was already starting to tire and was just about to start the notorious long climb of mile three. I held it together pretty well on this mile (5:26) but was not able to pick up the pace any during the final mile. Bert was out of sight and I was comfortably ahead of the chasing pack myself. I came home 2nd in 21:25...
So what to read into this? I'll leave it to the rational/detached words of my coach who replied to me shortly after the second email.
1) Absolutely no need to change the schedule with two weeks to go- trust the training!
2) I had gone out at a faster pace than I have been training for. IF I start out at the right/goal pace at Richmond then I will be able to close the race more effectively!
3) I will have people to feed off at Richmond and will not be running solo the whole race!
So all in all a disappointing race but I'm not writing off my chances of a good race at Richmond yet!