Last year's Titus Van Rijn did not go as I had hoped, so this year, I made two crucial changes:
1) I invited my training partner out to keep me company, and
2) I convinced the weather gods to keep things 20 degrees cooler than last year!
The track was mostly empty, but the infield was swarming with boys high school soccer players. The oblivious teenagers would often drift on to the inner lane, with ensuing yells of "TRACK!" from us.
Steph had the awesome idea to trade of the lead every mile, which helped the first six miles go quickly. We hit 4.5 miles at 30:15 and I joked that we would have to negative split if we were going to make nine. Steph joked back that she was just fine with eight, so maybe we should run slower. But we didn't slow.
We drifted a bit apart after about 6-6.5 miles and just ran the last 20 or so minutes doing our own thing. I had 20:37 for a 5k to get me to nine miles and I was going for it! I thought it'd be close, but I had 47 seconds to spare and added a bonus 178 meters in that time. Steph also passed nine miles with 10 seconds to spare!!
We did our cool down and then celebrated with a black cherry "spritzer" because neither of us drink a lot of soda.
My total was 14,578 meters for the hour, a good 1K farther than last year!! The only downside is that I now know my Garmin overestimates distance a bit (it was about .25 miles over for the hour+, though not enough to make any real difference.