February 26th: 6:40am wakeup. I was expecting to wake up to my alarm at 7:05am, but nature called soon after. Emptied myself out. Breakfast at 7. Instant packet of cinnamon and spice oatmeal with a splash of milk. Gatorade to wash it down. Changed up. Out the door just after 8am with George Adams and Boj in Goupil's car. Stopped in Chesterfield at Hammet's. Met Fyffe in Brattleboro. Off to Amherst at 8:30ish. Nature Valley protein bar at 8:50am. Jammed out to Rack City and other club bangers to get pumped up. Arrived at 9:30am. Picked up my number and free shirt. Kimber came to the race to spectate :) Warmed up 2+ miles (16:32) at 10:20am. Previewed the first mile and the last mile. Back to change up into the singlet and racers. Decided on just shorts and singlet with a pair of thin winter gloves. The BAA crew showed up in full, so my royal blue shorts and bright yellow jersey resembled them just a bit. Whatever. A shot of Clif Bar energy gel before heading to the start. To the line at 10:45am for strides and a spot towards the front.
Quick start. Bumped around a bit. 5:20 first mile comfortably. Maybe 20th place. About 20 meters off the lead pack. I don't wear a watch in races, but I knew I was clipping off a solid pace on the downhills and uphills in the next couple miles. I kept Fyffe (the grey Powerbar hat helped me decifer between the rest of the BAA guys) in my sights through the dirt road section (4-6 miles). Waiting to hit the wall from 6 miles on because I was definitely getting after it. It didn't happen until about 9 miles. This is where I pulled up next to Fyffe and the wind tunnel was in full force (mile 9 sign collapsed as we passed by). Last mile had two solid climbs with a downhill/flat finish in a parking lot for the last 400 meters. Fyffe yelled at me to get after it on the final hill. I responded with silence, but reacted to the feedback and finished up strong in a 6th place overall (52:19). 10 mile PR. Grand prix top 10 finish from what others were telling me post race. Back inside for warm clothes and some fluids for a cooldown. Jogged 3.5+ miles (31:08) with Goupil, Tom (Albany guy), and George "The Wolverine" Adams. 3 bananas, a protein shake, and a s'mores Balance Bar for recovery fuel. 16 for the day. 67 for a scheduled down week.
Back to the Swanzey lake house to shower and chill out until heading back to NY. McDonald's stop for a couple McChickens, a small fry, and a sundae. Home to watch the indoor track and field chmapionships. Bed to begin my 8th week of work. Yessss!