Really tired so just a brief recap now. Pictures and videos later.
Weather was gorgeous - upper 50s at race start and upper 60s at finish, light cooling breeze and not too humid. Much cooler than last year when it was 75ish and humid at the finish.
So great to see everyone - gabbed a lot before the start and warmed up very briefly with Vicki. I didn't want to wear myself out since I knew 15K was a long way in my current state of un-fitness.
1st lap (well, 3/4 of a lap since we did 8.77 laps for 15K) I felt stiff but loosened up a bit. Did it in 8 min which is just over 6 min/km pace and it felt pretty good. But the 2nd lap did not feel as good (~6:15/km) and the 3rd lap was even slower (~6:18ish?) and laps 4-7 were even slower - as slow as 6:25-6:30/km. My 5km split was 31:00 and I was feeling pretty iffy by then - tired legs and sluggish. But I did perk up a bit by lap 5 or 6 and didn't continue to slow but was able to hold my pace. I went through 10K in about 1:03:20 or so (not 100% sure of this split but it's close), so my second 5K was pretty pedestrian at about 32:20? Marianne Martino, who is 20 years older than me, passed me on lap 3 and I was a bit bummed about that, but she is the American record-holder in her age group and very talented, and I'm out of shape now so I tried not to feel bad about that. She slowed a bit on lap 7 and I was able to catch and pass her and finish ahead of her in the end. Yes, I actually sped up a bit on the last two laps - doing 10:36 and then 10:21. My total time was 1:34:02 means I did the last 5K in 30:42, which was the fastest of the three 5K splits! I guess I was a little too conservative in the middle 5K, but with my recent injury I think that was probably smart.
My average HR was only 153, so I definitely could have worked harder if my legs weren't so heavy; however, I feel really positive that I didn't die and get slower and slower at the end but was able to pick it up. That hasn't happened in a long time for me, and I'm pleased that I was able to finish strong even though my overall time was more than 5 minutes slower than last year (sigh....). But considering that I have only been walking again since March 17 and that I have only been really training for a few weeks (and then not very hard because I have been unable to recover very well) it's pretty good I think. In other good news, my piriformis only hurt a little bit - about 1/10 on the pain scale, and after copious post-race stretching I felt very good this afternoon with very little stiffness.
My time was still good for 3rd place overall (behind Miranda Melville and Erin Gray, two young elite women, who finished in 1:11 and change), so it's hard to be too disappointed. That's good for a $50 prize check :). Plus I got 1st place in W40-44 age group, and our team of Wasatch Walkers got 2nd place in the W40-49 teams. The post-race potluck was terrific and it was wonderful to talk with all my racewalking buddies. I wish we could see each other more often.
It's been a fantastic girls' weekend for us here, and after the race we hung out at the pool, read a bit, had some wine/diet pepsi/treats/whatever and chilled. Lots of fun. Tonight we went to dinner, had a blast laughing, eating, and chatting, and then watched race videos and commented on technique we saw, both good and bad. Very enjoyable, and of course I am VERY glad I came and had such fun with friends.
Just tried to upload one picture but the wi-fi at the hotel stinks ---- doesn't work in our room and I'm in the lobby and can't even upload ONE picture...GRRRR! Might be a few days for pics and video.
Garmin data here.