What a fun experience at TOU. Logan, being my hometown, is special for me. This race in particular. I first ran this race right out of high school. And I ran it in 3:22:54. I remember that being the most miserable race I had ever experience (especially given that my longest run for that had only been 14 miles, once). After coming home from a mission, I ran it again in 2014, breaking the three hour mark for the first time with 2:57:07. Running the time I did today made all the difference to me! It showed my how much improvement I've made (or how much better I trained).
The beginning of the race was quite interesting. First year I had run this, there were over 1800 people in the race. This year, they were barely pushing 450. However, the starting line was a great temperature and the bathroom line wasn't that bad. I always feel nervous before my races because I'm anxious about knowing how I will perform. The gun went off, and I immediately settled into my pace (~5:45 mile/min). In the past, I have started out much slower (~6:25 mile/min). Anywho, I felt comfortable at this pace for the first 10 miles. I had been running with the lead pack for the first few miles, then they separated and I ended up pacing with the Pachev's. It was great to have someone close by. I ended up sneaking past them before the end of the canyon. Nearing mile 13, I started questioning how well I would be able to keep the pace up. However, I kept holding.
After 14, the canyon downhill had ended. Luckily there was a nice breeze on my back and I held about 6:00 through mile 18. That's when I started to get scared about my finish. I could feel my tired legs, and the slight uphill was complete torture. Benjamin had then passed me, placing me into what I thought, 7th place. I tried to respond but couldn't get my legs to move any faster. Mile 22 came and I felt my first calf spasm. Takes me back to the other two times I have run this race, because it happened around the same mile marker then too. By mile 24, I could see Jesse Dunn (we ran against each other in high school). I figured he was about a minute ahead of me and I worked to slowly pull him in.
By mile 25, I tried to push but my calves would tighten up with each step. I was holding a decent pace for the finish (6:30 mile/min), and felt I could have gone faster despite the calf cramps. Coming across the finish line, I felt complete relief because of the time 2:38:18. A PR by 7 minutes, a course PR by 19 minutes. I also dwindled Jesse's lead on me by 25 seconds. Very happy with the result and am looking forward to more!
Next goal: sub 2:30...