Race for the Place 5k
First 5k of 2010, seemingly attended by most of the competitive runners in Columbia. My first 5k since a disaster of a sub 20 attempt on 12/26/09 (finished in 20:53 but felt absolutely terrible). Temps were right around 40 degrees and cloudy. I showed up an hour ahead of the 8:30 start and decided to jog the whole course. My mileage has been consistently in the 30’s for over a month, so I felt comfortable doing this as a warmup. Jogged it in about 28 minutes, felt good.
Since there were a lot of familiar faces around, it made it easy to assess my approximate pace at any point in time. I went out pretty fast with the gun, and I was amazed how crowded it was at low 6 pace the whole first mile. This race was even more competitive than I thought. I ran close to two friends of mine, one almost with the same 5k times, the other about 30 seconds slower. The course was slightly rolling but mostly flat, with no real hills to change your pace much. Hit the first mile in 6:15 by a volunteer’s watch, but my Garmin had it at 6:22, which seemed more accurate. I was excited to be at sub 20 pace and tried to keep it up. At about 1.5 miles in I started struggling a little bit keeping a good rhythm to my breathing and pace, so I might of backed off a little. I got passed by 2 guys, but I was able to maintain their pace behind them and not get gapped. Hit mile 2 at 13 minutes flat, a 6:47 Garmin split. I was pretty bummed with this. Tried to push it in the last mile. I did feel better for the first half of mile 3 as I finally got into a good rhythm. I ended up leaving the two frinds I was running with behind and stayed with a group ahead of me. Those guys started to die towards the end but were persistent on holding their position. I got kind of boxed in and didnt have the strength myself to go around them. At 3 miles I was definitely sub 20 but I couldnt see the clock. Rounded a turn with about maybe 30 meters to go and saw the clock at about 20:10ish. Dissapointed with that, but pushed it as much as I could behind the pack in front of me, which limited me a little. I dont have the official time yet but it was right at about 20:20, which is still a PR! Unfortunately the field was so strong that the 30-34 group 3rd place was around mid 19’s. Oh well, I’ll be 35 on March 3, so maybe that will help some. I am happy with the time, though getting closer to sub 20 makes it even more agonizing not to get it. Plus, I would at least hope to get some age group schwag for my efforts, but when all the studs show up, it makes it difficult.