Yesterday marked the final race in the Salt Lake Track Club Winter Running Series, and we were finally graced with a clear and sunny day. Oh yes, and windy! I don't think it was as blustery as the 10K was two weeks ago, but what seemed like a fairly innocuous cross-wind to begin with turned into something to be dealt with as the race progressed. My goal once again was to build up the pace throughout the run; in a perfect race each mile would have been progressively faster. That ended up being a tall order on this particular day, but I was still able to produce a solid negative split (running the second half of the race about 30 seconds faster than the first half). It also was my best time for an open 15K (although I've only ever run 4 of them), and I took 4th place among the women with a 1:02:56. The week leading into the run hadn't really gone very well training-wise so I was pleased to be able to pull it together for a good effort.
Now if you read my post about the 10K two weeks ago you must be wondering...did I catch Mel this time? And the answer is yes! Of course it's all in good fun, and I'm absolutely thrilled to be in the same ballpark as Mel at this point. Since I'm working really hard on perfecting the negative split technique I let a lot of people go early in the run, including Mel and my client Jed and his training buddy AJ. Once I hit the turn-around I started picking it up and tried to reel them back in. I ran out of real-estate with Jed and AJ, but I managed to pick off Mel with about a mile to go. It took me a long time to catch him, but then I saw him falter slightly when another runner passed him and I knew that I had to make a move right there if I wanted to have a chance at crossing the finish line ahead of him. It was a real internal battle for me but I'm really pleased to have recognized the situation and faced it head on. So thank you Mel for unwittingly taking part in helping to make me a mentally stronger runner!
Albert also had a decent effort for the day. He had been a little off kilter this week and felt crappy during the race, but was pleased with his time end effort under the circumstances. The series has been a really great training tool for both of us in preparation for the Canyonlands Half Marathon in three weeks in Moab. That's always a fun trip, and this will be the first year that we're both running it. The week after that will mark my triathlon season debut at the California 70.3 race in Oceanside. But first, a few more weeks of solid training are in order!