A.M. Usual 20 miler. Benjamin ran the first 2 miles of it with me, then turned back. He ended up doing 5, including 1 mile with Joseph. Jacob did 0.5 with them. Jenny and Julia did 1.5. When I approached the Provo Canyon I realized a race was taking place on the trail. At first I thought it was some small race, but then I remembered that Halloween was approaching, so this must have been the Halloween half marathon. Seeing the spread among the leaders, I figured there were not a lot of people in the race. Turned out I was wrong. There was a huge crowd, and it kept getting bigger and bigger. I saw the 1:30 pacer, that was James Moore, and I think Allie was with him, then 1:40 pacer, then 1:50 pacer, then 2:00, then 2:10. I wondered how I would be able to do my tempo on the way back as the trail was completely blocked by the crowd running somewhere in the 9:00 - 10:00 pace range. I also saw various expressions of idiocy under the guise of a Halloween costume. I was not looking forward to seeing it again on my way back.
My split at 10 miles was 1:11:15 or so. Then I turned around and started the tempo. My that time I was around the people headed for around 2:15, so for a while the crowd was not too thick, but not for long. As soon as I caught the 2:10 pacers, things became challenging. However, I managed to find a way to deal with the mess and maintain good speed. Most people got out of the way upon request. I had to issue that request every 5-10 seconds. I discovered that a two-syllable exclamation does not interfere with the breathing too bad if you wait to do it until it is time to exhale. Once in a while I had to do a maneuver similar to what we frequently see happening on I-15 during rush hour. I had to step on the dirt only two or three times, and bumped into a runner only once with a few more near misses, but those do not count. Somehow with all of the adventures I pulled off around 5:35 average pace through that section, which lasted around 4 miles, and it did not feel too hard.
Then it was finally over, and I was able to run normally. Not sure what the mile splits were exactly earlier, but I started caring about them only when I got past 6. I did the uphill mile in 5:47, then the next adventure mile in 5:47 again, then one more adventure mile in 5:47, and then I was fed up with it and ran the last mile, which is adventurous as well in 5:38. This gave me 56:31 for the last 10 miles. I was happy to have hit sub-5:40 average again on this course in this workout. At the end I felt strong, no perceived fuel shortage, but at the same time I could not put that strength to use. Nevertheless, I was happy to have felt this way - my weight at the end of the run was a low 141 lb, and I got it up to 147 by the evening. So I must have been quite depleted, and it is good to know that I can run sub-5:40 while at that level of depletion.
P.M. 2 miles