The 11K began at Kit Carson park where all REALLY flat and fast Albuquerque races begin and there was a really small group present, maybe 50 or 60 people. However, it turns out there were a few really fast people there including a disproportionate number of fast Masters runners. My plan was to take if relatively easy since I had a long run to complete after the race but as Misty had predicted my competitive side got the better of me.
I started out at a good pace but not top speed for the distance but as the race progressed I kept seeing people I wanted to try and pass. My splits were Mile 1 – 7:59, Mile 2 – 7:56, Mile 3 – 7:53, Mile 4 - 7:39 (yeah, this is the mile in which I said “what the hell” and really started trying to pick people off) Mile 5 – 7:25, Mile 6 – 7:17. The last few tenths of a mile got rolled into my long run so I don’t know what it was but I was pretty much sprinting because I began my final kick WAY too early.
There was one last guy that I thought I had enough distance left to pass and I could see the people standing around the finish line approaching. I knew if I was going to pass this guy I was going to have to kick it. I increased my speed and pulled ahead. I kept increasing the pace in case he was able to fight back and then I realized that the people I thought were standing next to the finish line were actually cyclists way down the path. Once they pulled off the path I could see the people next to the finish line and it was, relatively speaking, a LONG way away. I took the chance of easing up just a little because I knew I could not sprint all the way to the finish. Within maybe 50 yards of the finish line I could hear heavy breathing behind me and figuring it was the guy I just passed I turned the kick back on and sprinted as best I could to the finish. I crossed the line and indeed they guy I had passed crossed maybe 15 seconds behind me. I had run much harder than I planned and now I had a long run to complete.
I diced that I would try and get in around 28 total miles for the day and I used Running Map to measure it out but since I was going to stick to trails most of the time as opposed to the dirt roads along the Bosque I wasn’t exactly sure how far my run would end up being. In the end I got in 30 miles in a total time of 4:47:31. I was on pace to crush my 50K PR, which is 5:41:22 on an easier course at about 800 feet above sea level as opposed to 5000 feet above sea level. I was really tempted to go for it but I knew the GeekGrl was waiting for me and it would have been meaningless so I turned off the trail and headed to the coffee shop and finished off the run.
I never would have begun a 30-mile long run by doing the first 11K at about a 7:30 pace but I think it has taught me that I can probably run a 50K much faster than I have previously tried and that is a pretty awesome bit of information to have.