Determining my goal pace for Cherry Blossom is often a challenge, but last year I settled on 5:09s and I hit that dead on. On the Wednesday before the race last year I went to the CCT and tried to hit this pace for 2 miles and I succeeded. This year I would do the same...only I'd settle on 5:04/05 pace for 2.5. Today I met a handful of GRCers at B-CC and we headed out for the CCT. We were also blessed with the presence of Jim Hage. After a 2+ mile warm up we started off. I felt pretty good and hit the first half mile in 2:32. SLAM DUNK. Right on pace. I cruised through the first mile in 5:03 right on Dirk's tail. I looked around and saw that I was in a giant pack. I was relaxed and felt at ease. The next 1/2 appeared to be slow, but I hit 2 in 10:05. This was a tad fast, but we were running net downhill so this could be expected. I finished up in 12:32 for 2.5 and I felt fairly excellent. After I crossed the 2.5 mile mark, I dropped a kick to see what I had and I was pleasantly surprised. I am ready.
This morning after a 4 mile shake out I got a text message from arch rival Bert. I called him, and as usual, we discussed our battle plan for Sunday. Like the NYT and the WashPost, we share our front pages before we go to press. The main objective is the clock, but I'll be damned if he beats me.