Des News Half. Went out by myself in no man's land, as seems usual for me in local races lately. Hah. Runners in front were Riley Cook, Conner Mantz, Brett Hales, Ben Van Beekum, Jason Kearns, and one other guy who either dropped or didn't have a bib, and I didn't expect any of them to come back based on all 6 being well clear by the mile. Goal was to break 1:12. Splits were as follows:
1. 5:09. Quite downhill.
2. 5:19. Less downhill, and I backed off perhaps a touch more than I needed to.
3. 5:17. Slightly less downhill than 2, and in this mile I just decided to roll with the pace because it felt good, even though it was faster than the plan.
4. 5:18. Less downhill than 3.
5. 5:16. Slightly less downhill than 4. Feeling good.
6. 5:15. More like 2's amount of downhill again.
7. 5:09. One of the less downhill, but started to realize that I could run a good bit faster than the 1:11:59 I wanted to run.
8. 5:23. Good downhill, then a decent uphill, then good downhill.
9. 5:12. One of the more downhill ones, but slightly uphill at the end.
10. 5:26. Slightly uphill then steep downhill, then fairly uphill, then fairly downhill. Not a great rhythm mile. Jason Kearns is gradually coming back to me.
11. 5:16. Not super downhill, but enough to roll while feeling good. Jason is a little closer.
12. 5:20. Similar to 11, but uh oh, really starting to have to use the bathroom. Getting close enough that I realize I can catch Jason.
13. 5:38. Slightly uphill and working hard to not crap myself. Hah. Did just enough work to catch Jason right around the 13 mile mark. Tried to surge past him to keep him from trying to fight for the spot, knowing I couldn't sprint without a bathroom accident and therefore couldn't fully battle with him.
Last 0.18: 5:23, a little uphill. Jason passed me back. At this point, I did just enough to get sub 1:10 but not enough to have the bowels pressing on my gut make me puke. Of course, I did puke a slight bit after I crossed the line. Then, a little water, then straight to the portal potty.
I'm really happy with this race, and I consider it the best performance I've had to date. Yes, it's aided (1600' net down with only about 100' of roll), but I ran a super fast time for me and was in better standing than ever compared to some really good runners. I had the same official time as Jason, a recent 2:25 guy at Houston, and was 1:59 back of Ben Van Beekum. Somehow, I was given 6th place, so the other guy in front either didn't have a bib or dropped out. It would be a bit hard to tell if someone dropped late with the 10k going on, so who knows.
Finally, while my training has been really stellar lately, I think the shoes I was wearing -- Vaporfly 4% -- must have played a part. I've never felt so fast in any shoe before, and I think they help via 3 means: 1. That springiness of the rubber really feels like it helps propel my foot forward. 2. Major cushion despite very light weight keeps the legs fresh. 3. The roll underneath the toe helps correct my stride. $250 is a little ridiculous for a shoe with fairly low durability, but I would happily buy a second pair at this point. I took them off immediately after the race and cooled down in Boston 6s, which felt very flat and lifeless in comparison. Now that the Vaporflys have 14.2 miles on them (just over 1 mile warmup, and then the race), I will now put them back in their box and save them for Berlin in September.