A.M. Ran the SLC Track Club 15 K in 54:39. Did not realize how much the ear infection had knocked me out. Was also surprised by the pattern of slowdown.Life is full of surprises, I suppose.
Warmed up with Jeff and Steve for about 3.4. Did one stride for 0.1, and then the race started.
We had a nice group in the first mile - in addition to myself Jeff, James Moore (Fiddy), Seth, Steve, Fritz, and Bryce. First mile was 5:35 and it interesting. Definitely sustainable, but with a twist. Perhaps the twist was what made it unsustainable. The breathing made my ear feel like it was being hosed down with water. This is not necessarily an unpleasant feeling, but it is distracting when you are trying to run hard. I managed to run the next mile in 5:33. By that time the pack split and Bryce and I got dropped.
I got behind Bryce and felt good. I thought I'd be able to stay behind him for a while, and then pull away. We made it to 3 miles in 16:52. Now that was interesting - 5:44 mile and it did not feel any slower than the second mile. I had started to feel the legs caving a bit. 17:29 at the 5 K. Pretty soon even that slow pace was not sustainable. I slowed down to 6:00 mile for mile 4, 22:52 at 4 miles. At this point I began to have second thoughts about entering the race and the effect of running so hard on my health. But by that point I was almost exactly half way out and the only way to get back was to run. I considered slowing down and waiting for Mary Ann to catch up, but then I was not sure with the way the things were going if I'd even be able to keep up.
26:53 at the turnaround, 28:56 at 5 miles, 6:04. My fears of the worst started to leave. I knew that my health was good enough to keep running, and I began to feel the strength in the body telling me that if I kept running to the finish my health would not be damaged. Next mile in 5:55, 36:07 at the 10 K. My spirits cheered up a bit. 5 K in 18:38 at a fairly even pace. I knew I could run around 6:00 pace to the finish. Normally this would be little consolation. But after experiencing the fear that I might not make it to the finish at all, I was thankful for this measure of strength.
I was happy about hitting a 10 K in 36:07 en route in this condition. With that, however, I realized that had the race been only 10 K I would not have run it much faster. For some odd reason I was stuck in 6:00 gear and could not go any faster. I could not understand why, either. Nothing really hurt. I was not breathing very hard anymore. Perhaps the body decided to control the breathing to avoid the ear discomfort.
So I coasted at that pace to the finish. Last 5 K in 18:32. Jeff met me with about a quarter to go, and I actually was conversational enough to ask him who had won. My last quarter was 1:29. I tried to kick but could not. Yet I felt I could have gone further. Odd. Do not know how to explain it. Maybe some governor in the ear. Could a minor irritation or compression of the vestibular nerve act as this kind of governor? Is it possible to have vestibular nerve irritation with no obvious balance function disruptions?
So this race was definitely a learning experience.
Seth won with 49:04, then Jeff 49:12, Fritz a high 51, great performance, then Steve 52:10, James 52:26. Bryce was not officially in the race. His time was 53:00. Mary Ann ran 55:42 well ahead of the competition.
P.M. 2 with Benjamin in 17:40, 1 with Jenny and Julia in 10:16, 0.34 with Joseph in 3:48.