March 10th: 6am wakeup. Obviously before the alarm that was set for 6:15am. Bathroom. Made real (not instant) oatmeal this morning with sugar and maple syrup. Gathered my things for the race in Syracuse. On the road at 7:15am. Easy drive along Route 90 West. Arrived at the race venue at 9:30ish. Picked up our numbers. Necessary port-o-potty stop. Back in the car to stay warm and change up for a warmup. 2.5+ mile warmup (18:28) at 10:15am. Changed up for the race. Half tights, new ARE jersey, gloves and Nike drifit skull cap. It was definitely chilly out. Temperature was mid 20s at the start with some wind gusts. Made it to the line with 10 minutes to spare for strides and stretching. 5 minute delay due to a funeral passing through the race course. Relieved some of the pressure with the 4 Stotan Racing (Syracuse based running club) guys doing strides along side me. Peter Najem (college teammate) ran for this team last year so I knew I had my work cut out for me. Airhorns went off at 11:05am. Got out well. Settled in the first 1/2 mile with the Stotan guys. Downhill overall first mile so we were moving. After about 3/4 of a mile, I decided to just attack the first hill and just not look back. 4:30 first mile. Bam. Just kept running in fear of being caught. 15:03 3 miles (still in the lead, but being hunted). 2 solid climbs in mile 2 and 3. Lips, arms and hands were frozen and numb at this point and had been for a while. Last mile was flat and finished up by passing through the start line and looping into Burnett Park (all pavement). The tall Stotan guy came up next to me with ease at 3.5 miles. I had to make a decision. Should I pack it in and take second? Or should I give him a run for his money and kick hard? My motives came down to 3 things. 1. $200 for 1st and $100 for 2nd. 2. I need to report positive news back to Pete Najem. 3. I am repping ARE for the first time in the new jersey. I latched on right behind Foxenberg and kicked hard with about 30 meters to go. Grabbed 1st by a second. 20:06. Hard effort and it felt great. Talked with the Stotan guys after for a bit. Goupil and I cooled down 2 miles (15:25). Threw some dry clothes on before the awards ceremony. It was a indoor soccer/hockey rink with no heat. We ate some free food, received my check and prize bag (pint glass, calendar, trophy), and bounced quickly. We felt bad, but it was cold and we had a 2+ hour drive back to Clifton Park. Back before 3pm.
Chilled on the couch before heading out at 5pm for a shakeout. 6 miles (43:15). Soreness didn't set in yet so the legs felt fine. Surprising, but didn't complain. Back to stretch, pushups, situps, foam roll and shower. Big 4 egg mushroom, green pepper, onion omelette with cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Topped with ketchup and hot sauce. Hit the spot. Relaxed until bed before 9pm. Pancake run on Sunday at Joe Benny's house in Albany.
Good tuneup before New Bedford on March 18th. 15 miles on the day and ready to roll. Need to get my sleep and a short workout in the middle of the week.