I ran yet another trail 5k this past Saturday, at the state park a couple of miles from my house. I actually ran most of the way from my house to the race site as a warm-up, though I was running late (literally) and it ended up being nearly a 2 mile tempo, which is not what I had in mind. I had 5 minutes to spare when I got there. The race was tied in with a high school CC meet, which made it a pretty big event. The open 5k was just 160 people though. The race was about 2 miles of sandy trail and the last 1.1 of twisting single file running through the forest. Despite the vigorous warm-up, I felt pretty strong. It helped the temperature was in the 70’s for the first time in months. I started out fairly slow for me, 7:15 in the first mile, and then decided to up the pace and try to overtake people one by one. It was difficult to run fast in the sandy trail – a good part of it was beach like and I was constantly looking for any packed down areas. Finished the second mile in 7:08. After the 2 mile marker, I decided to pick up the pace further though it was hard to pass in this narrow, winding forest trail section. I was pretty spent at the end but was able to sprint the last 200 meters or so as the trail opened up onto a grassy section for the finish.
Finished in 21:30, a time I was very pleased with for a trail run. I havent downloaded the data from my Garmin, but the last mile was significantly sub-7 minutes. I was 4th in my age group, 25th overall, so no hardware. Still, I think I’ve made some progress the last few weeks focusing on doing more speedwork and core exercises. http://sc.milesplit.us/meets/55811/results/94831
My 15k is coming up on Labor Day. I have no idea how this will turn out – I havent even raced a 10k before – but at least I’ll have an instant PR!