Whenever I visualize a race beforehand, I try to consider a lot of different scenarios of how it could play out so I can be mentally prepared. That means that I have a range of times in my head that I could potentially run. If you'd asked me what the A++ scenario for this race was it would have been to get out hard (sub 5:10 through 1600) and then hold on to finish in low 9:40s. It's very rare to have a race that exceeds even my most optimistic expectation.
Anyway, I had quite a bit of confidence in my fitness going into this race. I had run some very good workouts. So I just told myself to push from the start and trust myself. Hit the first lap in 75.6 which felt very tough so I backed off a little to a 76.7 for lap 2. When I saw 2:32 through 800, I figured it was just a matter of time until I blew up and people started streaming by me. Instead I was starting to move up, I ran 76.1 for lap 3 to hit 1200 in 3:48. The nice thing about the 3k is that when you get to this point you can start counting down the laps. I slowed to a 77.3 for lap 4, but I was still 5:05 through 1600.
Here I really did slow down, as we were starting to lap runners constantly. Lap 5 was only 79.3 and Josh Deaton came by me. He's a very strong finisher and I told myself that if I could just stay on his shoulder I would be successful. Thanks to him I picked it back up to 77.6 for lap 6. With about 500 to go I moved passed Josh but he stuck right on me and repassed me on the backstretch 76.6 for lap 7 and then I kicked like mad (35.1 for 200, which isn't that fast I know). Ended up narrowly losing to Josh and Brandon Davis.
Final time was 9:34.4 a 20! second PR. I've dropped 1 minute off of my 3k over the last two years.
AM RHR 46