I didn't get as many miles as planned this week because of some longer than planned days at work, but at least that meant I was fresh for Saturday's race. Cloudy skies when I woke up but the sun came out by the time I got to Silverdale, but a nice breezy morning and no warmer than 70 or so.
A few of the Jaguars kids were out there so I chatted with them, signed up, then did a 2-mile warm-up on Clear Creek Trail. The start moved up this year on Silverdale Way (start/finish now on the same line, which is nice), so I did a few strides and found a place behind the fast CK High runners.
I started with the second little pack off the line, but we strung out maybe 1/4 mile before the first split and I let two guys go who, in retrospect, would have been nice to stick with. I was comfortable, and maybe a little too comfortable, hitting the mile in 5:44. I surged some on what was left of Silverdale Way, then left the kid with me on the hill and picked up one other. Just before the railroad tracks a guy caught me, and we rounded the corner and surged together there. I left him to pass the second mile in 6:23 (also slower than I planned) but he moved back ahead of me within 1/2 mile or so.
Ran alone on mile 3 with four guys in sight (the three I should have stuck with from the start and the guy who passed me). I eventually reeled one in, turning the corner to Anderson Hill and hitting the mile in 5:54. He dropped his kick then and took me, I watched his back to the finish but couldn't make another strong move. I ran a good last mile chasing him and the three others, in 5:03 (the new mile markers may have been off a bit), but it wasn't enough to catch them or sneak in under 23:00, which was my goal. Too slow out of the gate and it did me in.
My legs felt good though, no groin/hip problems on the course and I did feel like I was running comfortably. So that's the good news, and four miles in just over 23 minutes isn't embarrassing or anything. Just not enough racing this year to be ready to push, I think that's part of the problem.
Stood around and talked to folks until the kiddie runs started. Then a three-mile cooldown on Clear Creek, then it started to get warmer outside. I didn't go back to check the final time/placing (I'm guessing I was around 10th, like always, and maybe won the age group -- one other guy ahead of me I didn't know, and looked about in his 30s). Then, also like always, some donuts and coffee. That was fun and all, but the coming week I'll need to get my mileage back up again.