A tough week at work and a so-so week of training left me wondering what would happen Sunday morning. I signed up weeks ago for a 10 mile race figuring it would be a good test for St. George. But as I rolled out of bed I could tell I had made a mistake not eating a full meal the night before and I felt extremely sluggish. I chugged down as much water as I could stand, took care of business in the bathroom and headed to Rio Americana High School for the 8 a.m. start.
The flat course was a basic out and back with very few turns. I was hoping I could average 7:45 per mile. I even wore my racing flats hoping for an added edge. Normally I wear light trainers for longer races.
A race called the Migration had started a half hour earlier for slower runners. More than 300 runners lined up for the Stampede and I could tell it was going to be a fairly warm morning with almost nothing to call a breeze. The horn sounded and I got out at what I felt was a solid pace. I must have been passed by 50 runners in the first mile which I clocked in a comfortable feeling 7:30. Though I had gone out fast I wasn't worried as another two dozen runners whizzed by over the next mile and I had to keep an eye out for the slower runners doubling back on the course.
By mile three I had settled into a steady 7:45 pace and I was now beginning to catch runners who had taken it out too fast. I didn't catch many over the next seven miles but I held my pace and took water at nearly every aid station due to the heat. As I headed into the last mile it appeared that 77:30 was doable even though my Garmin was showing that the course was long. I hit 10 miles on my Garmin in 77:11, a good 200 meters from the finish. I was a little disheartened but worked my way to the finish, my chip time showing 78:05. The course was .14 long according to my Garmin, making up for the .14 that was missing from the Modesto Midnight Half Marathon.
It was a hard effort, much harder than Modesto. And I'm much more tired hours after the race than I was after the half. Another two weeks of hard training remains. Given Sunday's effort I really believe a sub 3:30 marathon is a possibility in St. George.