A.M. Ran the SLC Track Club 10 K. 37:46, 5th place. I've run in training in worse conditions (for speed), but never in a race. The entire course was covered with snow. On the way out I could run more or less normal pace. But then on the way back we got a strong headwind, and on top of that, the road became more slippery.
I also had a cold, but no fever. Not sure how much it affected me. Probably 20-30 seconds.
Went through the first mile in 5:27 in a pack with Jeff, Seth, Brian Summers, and James Moore from the blog. At that point we did have some traction as evidenced by the time. Then around 1.25 the pace felt too fast, and I decided to back off. In restrospect this was a mistake. The lack of traction eventually became my number one limiting factor. So the right way to run would have been to run my guts out from the start, and then do my best once the slippage became the main problem. This would have been effective because the fatigue from the early aggressive pace would not have been sufficient to make it impossible to run the fastest the friction would permit.
Unfortunately today I became painfully aware of the formula F = k*P, where F is the maximum achievable friction force, P is the ground contact force, and k is the friction coefficient that is dependent only on the properties of the surfaces in contact. With that in mind my strength became my weakness. A runner needs to put a decent amount of P into the ground to get a forward propulsion force. Over the years I happen to have learned how to get a decent amount of forward propulsion with a very low value of P. This is very good. It helps me do well in long races and not get injured. However, today was a bad day for low values of P. k started out small and kept getting smaller. Eventually the forward propulsion force began to be limited by friction.
My second mile was 5:39, and I was actually quite happy. The pack was about 10 seconds away. 5:48 for the third mile, not stellar, but respectable for the conditions. 17:34 at the 5 K, 17:06 for the leaders, they are still together.
And then the surprise came. Quite a headwind. However, I would have taken double that any day if only I could have decent traction. My next mile was 6:32. I would have normally blamed this on the misplaced mile markers. But I knew they were in the right place because I had checked them going the other way. So I doublechecked the math instead. I never make time calculation mistakes during a race, calculating a split is second nature to me, as easy as noticing the color of the shirt of my competors. But the split was so off the wall today that I had to double check, and sure enough it was right.
Mile 5 - a glorious split of 6:34. Beautiful. Minus the cold, I am feeling great, though. OK, last mile, lets see if I can reel somebody it. Not with a 6:28 mile, though. I do not know how Jeff and Seth maganged to run it in 5:35. Their values of P must be quite a bit higher than mine, that makes sense given Seth's great performance on Ragnar.
Glorious closing 5 K of 20:12. After opening in 17:34 that did not hurt too bad I never thought I'd be closing that slow in the most pessimistic analysis. Live and Learn.
Seth won with 35:12, then Jeff 35:14, James 35:35 (I think), and Brian 36:30.
Mary Ann ran a very solid 38:53 going through the 5 K in 18:36. Second 5 K was rather bogus for everybody due to the traction and the headwind. But the first one shows she is capable of sub-36:00 on that course in good conditions.
Cooled down 2 miles.
P.M. Just to be cautions and not make the cold worse I did not run. The kids ran with Sarah.