Csab – nice to meet you at this race and congrats on the huge PR!
Csab already reported on this race above. Basically a pretty small 5k (67 finishers) on a reasonably fast course, though definitely rolling. The first mile is mostly downhill and the rest is up and down. I felt pretty bad this am before the race – stomach wasnt happy with the pizza and beer combo the night before. I was a little queasy driving to the race and wondered if I would actually race it. I got to the race site and did 2 10 minute pace miles, and felt better. Though this race is small, it actually attracted a fair number of good runners from the area.
I started this race pretty slow – I think part of it was being unsure about how my stomach was going to react, plus I hadnt done any speedwork this week (mostly recovery from a ridiculous nearly 17 mile run I got pushed into on Sunday done at 7:58 pace), so the sudden shift to sub 7 pace was a shock to the system. As csab noted, he blew past me in the first quarter mile and had a pretty good gap on me by the end of the first mile. First mile was in 6:36, so I knew I was going to have to kick it up a notch to have a shot at a third sub 20. I noticed that my breathing was actually unusually calm, it was just leg fatigue that was causing me trouble. Mile 2 found me starting to get into a good groove, and I started making major headway on the pack. Passed csab on a hill. He was confusing to me because he said he was hoping for sub 21, when I knew his pace was way under that. I hit the second mile at 6:22, and felt I had a lot more in the tank than I usually do at that point. Passed what I thought was the last 35er right at 2 miles and suddenly found myself completely alone. The elite pack was no longer in sight so I was running purely on feel and self motivation. Since I obsess about races all week and always wish I had pushed myself a little more, I tried to really pour it on. Once I hit the midpoint of the third mile I knew it was all flat and downhill, and I was able to push the pace to slightly sub 6. Hit mile 3 at 6:10 and burned it on the downhill last tenth. Was able to cruise in at 19:40, and felt really strong at the end.
I ran the course again as a cool down, and thought I had 1st in AG all sewn up. Unfortunately, 2 guys completely unknown to me finished ahead of me in the 18’s. Oh well, still got a 3rd place and finished 8th overall. Very happy with the time after the way things started. This is the most negatively split race I’ve ever run.
Will be shooting for 1:35-1:40 at the Palmetto Half next weekend!