I went into this race with the idea to lay it all out effort-wise and go for max effort. I figured a strong effort would put me in striking range of my PR, and perhaps a really good race day effort could push past that. I lined up pretty near the front of the pack since there was a beginner feel among many of the racers. The day was a bit humid and warm but not too bad. Although I was going into this race rested, I wasn't feeling at my best today and had an elevated heart rate as well.
I ran this race on a pure heart rate goal plan. I opened with a strong opening mile around 6:44, in which I hit my target heart rate around a half mile and then worked on not going too hard after that. Mile 2 went by at a slower pace in the mid 7:30 range. By the time the second mile was done I was feeling like I was just hanging on for dear life. Mile 3 went by at a slightly slower pace in the mid 7:40 range and I really did feel like I was giving it my all. I pushed past the finish line in a time of 22:46.
22:46 really did feel like all I had in me on this day, at least following the plan I followed. On this day it was good enough for 5th place in my age group, and I just missed my PR by 3 seconds. I'm not disappointed by just missing my PR as I gave my all and just didn't have more to give on this day. Certainly it is also a positive sign in my overall recovery that I posted a second best effort and a competitive time in a large field. I left this race feeling very positive about the next race or two a few weeks ahead of me before looking at an much needed and welcomed upcoming off season.