So it turned out my 5K race today was actually a 5 miler, misread the Web site. Pouring rain, only about 100 runners bothered showing up, 50 for the companion 2.5 miler, and 53 for the 5, so I was able to place 2nd ($25 gift certificate to an Italian restaurant). And with a PR by almost a minute — 30:35 (6:07 pace). Splits were 6:08, 6:06, 6:14, 6:22, 5:45.
Double loop course was mostly flat but a couple decent/moderate hills. Even though I haven't been doing any speed work and am still coming back from a few extremely light weeks while the quad/adductor mended itself, I somehow felt I ought to be able to break 31:00. Settled into a good strong but relaxed pace early, in 5th place, passed at 2 miles, but then at 2.5 everyone but two guys ahead of me disappeared, they were running the 2.5 mile race it turned out and finished up.
Into the second loop I'm in 3rd, keeping it together, it's always a question, will I be able to hold the pace, when will the wheels start coming off. Slowed some, especially on the steeper hill, but pushed it downhill harder than the first time around (worrying I'm thrashing my legs, but they seem okay.) Lower legs really getting tired, keep reminding myself it's not pain, just a sensation, doing no harm, they still work, ignore them. Started going anaerobic by 3.8, too early, really not sure I'd hold on, but pushed ahead, caught the second place guy, surprised myself and took pleasure in burying him on the last little uphill and opened up on the downhill, let loose, concentrating on form, looking strong to demoralize him (I don't take this too seriously, do I — I don't feel bad, it's usually the other way around.)
Really tiring at 4.5, I'm done, hold on, fortunately, gradual downhill till the end. Finish is on the school track, whoah, just about missed the turn into the field, started running past the turn off and a volunteer pointed my way, phew, lost a couple seconds, crap, the guy's closing in on me, 150 yards to go, no way I'm gonna let him catch me; my little blunder annoys me, I'm out of gas, but of course I'm not really, it's mental, manage to pour it on, done, phew, 2nd by 4 seconds (and he was in my age group, so my efforts earned me $25 :-).
Feeling pretty great about this one, confidence builder, especially after my 10K slog along the Charles on Thursday. Legs are healthy, felt I was mentally tough, sucked it up and pushed. Back to work tomorrow, maybe 10, start the long slow build up to October. From the Garmin ...
|Mile 1 | Mile 2 | Mile 3 | Mile 4 | Mile 5|
Pace in blue, elevation in green; pace is all over the place, except for the last mile.