Thursday, July 28, 2011
Well, this was a first. I ran a very good race and was extremely happy with my time. I finished in 56:24, for a pace of 9:04 per mile. I was able to hold an 8:58 pace thru 4 1/4 miles, but it was hot and humid and uphill toward the end, and I wilted. There were two Mescalero Apache runners who took off from the start and ran together to a sub 50 finish. Then there were 3 guys running together, then me, and then more than 5 minutes back, about 30 other runners. One of the three runners started to struggle at about 3 miles, and he started to come back to me. I got within 40 seconds of him with a half mile to go and just couldn't close. Now for the bad news. This course twisted around all over hell so that they could keep it off the roads and not need to pay the las cruces cops. There were arrows in the road and road marshals at most intersections. As we got within sight of the finish line, my eyes were glued to the back of the guy I was chasing. I followed him on a right hand turn, and then a short left, and we ended up coming in the BACKSIDE of the finish chute. My garmin said it was 6.18 miles, so 2 hundreds off of a perfect 10K. We had turned one small side street too soon, and went in bass akwards. The next guy came in 5 minutes later. The race director called the officiating board, and even though, had we known, we could have just turned around and STILL beaten the next guy by at least 3 minutes, we were DISQUALIFIED. Now this is my first official disqualification in my 36 year running life. I didn't care that much because I was very happy with my time. I had beaten my time from three years ago by over a minute and a half! I feel like I have partially solved the training puzzle with what I did in the last 8 weeks, so I should be able to tweak it and repeat it next october and november to get ready for two REAL races at age 60 in december. But I felt horrible for the guy I chased, because he would have been third and had a nice shiny medal. So now a guy who finished 5 minutes behind both of us got it. Life can be unfair at times. But, all in all, a pleasant day with a result that maybe makes me think I have a good training plan for the fall!