My back is better but it remained to take a little coercion to get moving this morning. I did a slow, longer warm up and followed it up with a series of stretches that allowed a little release and the ability to stride out some. I am finding out that the root of a lot of my problems are, at least what I believe, the piriformis muscles in my glutes. They are very tight and the next four weeks I must spend some time attending to them if I have any prayers of finishing 26.2 miles. Next weeks 25K will really put things in perspective. I'm not too sure I want to know...
The race unfolded about as well as I could have hoped. I didn't want to go out too hard and dive into oxygen debt. I did that all too often in my younger years and paid the piper big time during the last two miles. Today I went out with a group that rolled through the first mile in 5:24. Right where I wanted to be, maybe a few ticks fast but I managed to think of it as "time in the bank". It's been a few years since I last ran Victory and that time allowed me to forget about the upgrade second and third miles. The third split was slow at 5:41 and I was shocked because I made a conscious effort to break out of a group of four that I had been running with and chase the next few guys ahead of me. At the turn-around I kept a positive state of mind and when I made the subtle turn to the straight the third mile made sense. From that perspective you could see the now downhill and the grade that caused the slow third mile split. I managed to crank out the fourth fairly well and hit the marker at 5:19. The fifth mile I was still chasing three guys and split in 5:23, still moving pretty decent. I had some mental let-down the sixth mile even though I had caught one of the three runners on my radar and he kept me going as well as I could. Mile six was 5:31. We both traded positions over the last mile and 0.2 tenths with he getting to the tape first. I crossed the finish line in 34:06 and was quite pleased with the effort. I wanted to run 33:45 or faster but it just wasn't in the cards today.
Totals: 10K race: 34:08 (i had 34:06)
warm up and warm down of 24:00+ each
~11.5 miles total running