I had a similar race day experience as Ryan did at the Deer Run. This would be the third 10K of my career and every one had been run at this event (I need to run more 10K's). The first year I took a wrong turn and ended up running 6.7 and last year I was happy with a 35:45 and a 5th place finish. I felt I could knock a few seconds off my PR but I have not done a lot of speed training other than tempo runs and some hill workouts the last few weeks. I had no gauge at where my speed was at. During my warm-up, my legs felt like lead and could not get moving very comfortably at all. Everybody else around me looked like they were floating on air during their warm ups. I was concerned that this could be an off day.
After standing around for an eternity at the start, we finally got started. With a mix of 5K and 10K runners along the same route, I got a bit caught up into a fast start. The first mile came by at 5:20. I felt comfortable but but I knew I had to back off. Ryan came by shortly after as I had recognized his Stout singlet. I was happy to see half the pack ahead of me split off to finish the 5K route and found myself in 5th place behind Stout, Whitewater, and some other guy. I was feeling great during the third mile and passed up some other guy and Whitewater even though I ran my slowest split of the race at 5:55. Whitewater showed up again between mile 4 and 5 but his work to reach me took its toll. During this time, I had kept my sights on Ryan but I could not seem to make up any ground I was continually 12-15 seconds behind. I swear we were running identical splits for the longest time. I ran a strong 6th mile and I was finally feeling like I was gaining but there was not enough race left. I just finished with what I had left and came in at 34:56, third place overall and blew my PR away by 49 seconds. I'll have to try that again next year.