Well, when you look at what I was attempting to accomplish, then it was a failure. Many great and positive things came out of this trip, but ultimately I did not succeed in what I was set out to do. I can also cry about this, but after a few days of thinking about this race, I tend to realize that there are more important things in life than a race. However, this was an important aspect in my life, and I wanted to succeed in it. So, what I will reflect on is the positive events, and throw in a few cynical comments to ease my suffering.
First, I can start by explaining how the week turned out. Monday was Halloween, and of course my little 5th graders were amped out of their minds for our party, which consisted of copious amounts of sugar! Candy bars, popcorn, donuts, super donuts (I don't need to explain), punch with ice cream sorbet in it (as if it doesn't need more sugar), fruit that was drowning in carmel, chips, junk, junk, and more junk... All and all, it was great for them, and I already decided to take the day off of running and attempt to mend a sore throat I had. Tuesday would be the only workout of the week, as I did a Fartlek on the River. The rest of the week was easy as I flew out to Indy on Thursday for the Saturday race. Kris Houghton and I left for one heck of an adventure.
Once we got into Indianapolis we got to the host hotel... but left shortly after to find a Whole Foods to stock up on provisions. Friday morning started off with a nice 5 mile run along the canals and some strides in front of the NCAA Hall of Fame Museum. That afternoon, Kris and I drove all over town looking for some racing flats for Kris. After that, we headed over to the Expo to get our race numbers, and meet Bill Rodgers. After Bill gave a nice speech, we stood in line to get autographs. We were about 4th in line, and Bill, as nice and outgoing as he is would talk to each person for nearly 5 minutes each. Once we got to Bill, I asked him about his experience with Henry Rono (my current roommate). Bill started talking to us about their race in San Blass, Puerto Rico and all sorts of other stories. He gave us some words of wisdom, and he's now one of my favorite runners of all time, just because of how sincere he was towards us. So.... as the night came to an end, and Saturday morning came I was ready to run a great race! Before the race we chatted with some old friends: Paul Howarth and Nate Pennington (who I finally got to meet, and is a great guy). I of course was ready to run a sub 65 minute half marathon, but things would prove differently.
As the gun went off, I found myself with 3 other Kenyans. I was planning on starting off slower than in San Jose, and work my way down. The first mile was 5:00, Perfect! Then I just kept it around that pace. The 3 other Kenyans didn't want to take the lead, and I was forced to lead since I was more concerned about time than place and money. The following splits were for the 2nd mile to the 10th mile are: [4:55, 4:56, 4:51, 5:09, 4:44, 4:52, 5:06, 5:06, 5:01] I came up on the 10th mile in 49:44 and felt 10 times better than in San Jose. I was on pace to break 65, and was ready to run this next 5k faster than the first 5k of the race. But to my complete and F***ing surprise I clicked off a 5:26 mile. When I saw that, I flipped out! I knew I hadn't slowed down that much, and there was no change in elevation on the course. It had to be wrong! It had to be too long! Either way, there was no explanation for it. I ran the next mile at 5:02 and knew I was out of it. Nothing was going to bring back 20 something seconds. My last mile I decided not to give up and blitzed my brains out for a 4:45 mile and a finishing time of 1:05:27. I missed it again. It was a course record, and I won some pocket money, but that's not what I wanted. Now I have to do CIM and qualify with no excuses!
Not as happy as I should've been, but a win is still something to be thankful for!