Got up plenty early this morning. Had a Clif Bar and about 24 oz. of Gatorade for breakfast and gathered my things. Don't know why but I almost fell asleep on the way. I actually missed the Beltway and decided to go in to 610 instead of doubling back. I was actually entertaining the possibility of taking a quick nap in the car when I got to the race. Very strange though. As soon as I saw the first little orange cones in the street and then some volunteers walking around, I suddenly started to get excited. Then, driving into the parking lot, I started to see all the runners and people I know, no way was I sleepy anymore.
I ran into June just a few moments after I parked. We hung out, got some water and our chips and met up socialized for a bit before stretching. I had a Gu 15 minutes before the start to finish a well-balanced breakfast. I felt good stretching. Lately, the nagging stiffness in my bad ankle that has been there since April wasn't there and I was actually able to get a good, full calf stretch.
Got sucked in a little at the beginning but not as much as I may have had I not been aware that I was susceptible to that. I really wanted to push this 5K as much as I could. I really treated last month's Run the Woodlands 5K like more of a training run although I pushed pretty hard then. But this 5K was pretty close to an allout 5K race for me right now. I still lack experience pacing and "feeling where I am on the course. My thoughts, especially in the last mile, were focused on how far I have left. I really didn't know (remember) how much further we had to go once we rounded the corner and went up that small hill. I was probably too tentative during the last ~.5, just being aprehensive about burning out with a lot of course left. I really was a lot closer to the finish than I judged and could have picked it up more. Thanks to Jon and June who followed the "no blogger left behind" creed and came out to run me in the last ~.3 or so. Seriously, I was just getting ready to take a much needed walk break until I saw Jon waiting there for me to run the last stretch. Then June joined us just before the corner and was a real encouragement. I appreciate that from you guys so much. It made the difference for me. I've really got to find that something inside me to push myself when I'm out there alone, though. I don't know what that thougth process is going to be but I've got to figure something out. Several times now, during a race or a training run, I've just about quit and then someone comes up and I finish strong. So, I know it's mental since my body is responding to the distration of running with someone. I've got to get over that.
Anyway, my time was 40:51. That's about 4 1/2 minutes off my RTW 5K last month. That may sound huge but RTW was not an all out effort for me and it was much hotter. So, I consider this race my first "real" 5K since coming back after surgery. Still, I'm really happy with the 13:11 average pace. I haven't run that fast over that distance during any training run so it's definitely a milestone. I've been able to maintain around 13:30 pace for about 20 minutes during training but today's 5K was definitely a race effort.
Splits, as far as I recorded:
Mile 1 - 13:05
Mile 2 - 12:55
Mile 3 - 13:40 (walk break and short hill)
last .1 - 1:11
Great to see Steve and Steeve and all the Striders, and Jon and Waverly. Just a fantastic group. I like the out and back course too as I get to see all the runners and give a shout out to them.
Oh, by the way, great race organization. 10/10 on registration, packet pickup, pre and post water and food, rest rooms, course management, water stops. And the results were posted for all to see almost immediately after the race. Very well organized race and will be on my list next year.