The Czarina and I made our annual journey to Lehigh Acres to run a 4 mile race. Lehigh is to the Fort Myers area as Raytown or Belton are to Kansas City. But that's a whole other blog.
Once again picture perfect weather greeted us. It was a cool 50 degrees with no humidity. The year before had been very humid with windy conditions. My plan was simple, run negative splits and break 30 minutes. I really thought I could run 29:30. The year before I ran 30:32 coming off plantar fasciatas.
I got out as comfortably as I could hitting the mile in 7:26. I was tracking a damn fast old guy (age 72) about 60 yards in front of me in a pack of about four or five runners. Unfortunately instead of working to catch him by two miles I decided to wait until after two and start working. I realized my mistake when I hit two miles in 15:06 and knew I would have to run my ass off to break 30 minutes.
Out of the pack one guy about my age started coming back to me so I worked to catch him just before 3 miles. I was slowly but surely pulling up to the old guy and the rest of that group but simply ran out of road. I ran my last mile in 7:25 and hit the finish line right in 30 minutes flat. I really wasn't that tired and feel like I could have run faster if I had pushed earlier but I was happy because I negative split the last two miles. I just need to lengthen my long runs and add a tempo run to my weekly routine.
As for the Czarina, I don't know what happened because the wheels must have fallen off. She was the defending Grand Master champion. She went out about like she had done the year before (she was actually ahead of me last year at the mile) hitting the mile in 7:40 but then she just started slowing down. She was beaten by some folks that usually don't finish ahead of her and ran 32:16, a good 20 seconds slower than the year before. It was good enough for second in her age group. I think she's realized the non-stop snacking during "American Idol" is taking its toll!