Annual trip to Skagit Valley for the Nookachamps race and winter fitness check-in. Cloudy morning, but not cold (45-50), and just a little drizzle in the air. Spit just a touch in the middle of the race, but otherwise the showers held until the afternoon.
About a mile warm-up around the college from the start, then just 5-10 minutes of stretching and out for 1-2 strides. the start came really quickly this year. Out of the gate from the front line, so it was quick, but I tried to consciously keep it light and easy. I settled in with a guy before mile 1 and we ended up running the whole race together, which was fun. (And he beat his goal by 2:30, so I must be a good pacer.)
Ran 6:05 on the first mile, which has a slight hill, then a 5:50 on the mile with the big downhill. Very little wind in the flats of Francis Road, unlike a year ago, and having the guy alongside was helpful. Then a 6:58 back up the hill and through the dairy (smelly) to Swan; tried to go easy on the hill to stay conservative. The guy with me pulled ahead maybe 10-15 feet, but I pulled him back in once we hit Swan Road and we settled back into the pace, and ran a 6:17. The fifth mile is mostly rolling downhill, with a short, steep portion on the turn on Martin. We cruised down, kind of pushing then pace, and ended up at 6:29, which felt really good for that stage. The last mile.2 we had to weave through a lot of 5k walkers because of the timing, which was annoying, and I did feel much speed at that point. The guy alongside (Scott) led me after the 6-mile mark, but I passed him on the last loop through the woods just west of the finish line when I could tell he had no kick, and I edged him out by 5 seconds or so. 7:44 for the last 1.2.
Overall felt really good, my foot didn't bother me at all. A little tightness in my left hamstring around mile 6, and after the race on my cool down my left hip flexor really tightened up. I ran back to my parents house, about 1.5 miles, then iced and had some Swedish pancakes.
The good news is that last year, when I was hurt and woefully out of shape and the weather was horrendous, I ran 44 minutes here. I've off my best by nearly two minutes, so I am getting older, I suppose, and I was about 30 seconds off my goal time. But things could be worse, and it was fun.