It was a good day for a race. Temperatures were moderate, the sky was slightly overcast, and there were minimal winds. The conditions were favorable, at least by Iron Pol standards.
The day started early, with Baby Pol waking up at 3:00 a.m. for food. Between feeding, diapering, and getting her back to sleep, it was after 4:00 by the time I crawled back into bed. I knew then that the hour remaining before my alarm went off wasn't really going to be enough. My watch alarmed first, and I promptly ignored it (which is why my alarm clock is nowhere close enough for a snooze button to be hit). No big deal, as the alarm clock sounded less than 5 minutes later.
After getting dressed, it was time for the traditional Iron Pol pre-race breakfast. A bagel and a bottle of sports drink. There was enough time to watch pointless television, then start waking kids up to get them ready. Toddler Pol was unusually cooperative, as he knew we were going to a race. He wanted to have his bib number on, and accepted it when I told him we would put it on, later. We managed to get out the door only a few minutes late.
Once at the start area, I got both the kids checked in to child care (at the College of Nursing, run by students and professors, no charge, how cool is that?). I ran into the wife of a co-worker with whom I was considering running (co-worker, I'd never keep up with his wife). After warming up, I headed to the corrals. Race organizers decided to add a second preferred start corral, which allowed me to get fairly close to the front of the pack.
The start was much better with the extra corral. The first mile was a bit fast, probably a result of the draft from the jack-rabbits. I ran it in 7m 7s and knew that was unsustainable. As the pack spread out, I eased of the pace, running the second mile in 7m 13s. The third mile, flatter than the first two, proved much easier, though far to fast, at just over 6m 54s. Whether that mile essentially "did me in" or I managed to get back to an appropriate pace, the remaining miles were more in line with expectations. Mile 4 was 7m 23s. Mile 5 was 7m 26 s. And mile 6 was 7m 25 sec. That's a fairly stable pace, and I felt good doing it. I did experience significant tightness in my calf, and don't really know how much it affected the run.
Overall, the results were better than I really hoped. I finished with a final time of 44:54 for an average pace of 7m 14s. The 3.1 mile split was 22:07, so the halfs were fairly close, as well. That was good for 566 out of 6528 finishers (over 10,000 registered) overall. In my division, I was 61 out of 369. I can live with those results.
Toddler Pol also has a race report and asked that it be included. He wanted to be sure everyone knew he snuck in under the age requirement and ran the 0.3 mile race for children aged 4-7. He considered the 0.5 mile race for the 7-12 year olds, but figured nobody would buy that he was that old. At 2 1/2, he did quite well, running nearly the entire distance, receiving some forward progress help (75 yards) half way through the race. He finished strong, running past the finish line. We were barely able to get his medal, as he was more interested in balloons and getting to the food tent.
In fact, the food tent nearly ruined the entire race where he is concerned. There was such a delay between getting to the start and when the race began that Toddler Pol wanted to "stop racing" and go eat. Only by convincing him we were going to play a game of "chase" was I able to redirect that concern. I forgot to stop the watch when we hit the finish, but he ran the 1/3 mile in under 6 minutes. Not bad for someone with another 4 years in this category.
So, it was a good day for a race. One 10K PR later (by more than 10 minutes), it's time for bed.