Get in the Pink 5k
This is the 2nd year of an event that’s a fund raiser for breast cancer, with the 10k being the “marquee” event. I’m coming off the 23 miles of relay last weekend so I decided to go for the shorter race. A surprising amount of people for this race, though I think most were not in it for the competition (definitely true by the finish times). Gun time was 8:15, 15 min after the 10k start. Heat was rough already, probably close to 80 degrees (high of 90 I think today). I warmed up about 2 miles, and was sweating already. I needed some water at the start but none to be found (car was too far away). Lined up first row – there were a few people in singlets that I know (including the dude that beat me to win the Healthy Capital 5k last month). These guys were 18:xx, but in their early 40’s, so my goals were to sub 20 it and win my age group. A 49 yo woman (Sarah) that I know and used to be a top national masters runner was also there, trying to come back from injury.
The start was good and I ran in the first group for the first half mile, then tried to focus on hitting low 6 splits. The heat was already getting to me inthe first mile, so this did not bode well. Sarah was with me stride for stride, though I could tell she was laboring too. The 1 mile marker was way off – at about 0.8 miles – so that was disheartening. Hit the real first mile in 6:06, so pretty good pace. Crowd started to thin at this point. A group of 3 were about 50 meters ahead, and then me and another guy I wasnt familiar with. Sarah dropped back at this point and it was just me and the other guy the whole 2nd mile. At the end of the mile I started to pull ahead of him, – he told me “its going to be hard to break 19 today” . I’m not sure if this was to get in my head, but we were close to this pace at the time. Hit mile 2 at 6:16 pace. Around this time the lead runner from the 10k (begun 15 minutes earlier) caught up (he’s a running legend in SC and does about 32 minutes, so I knew thi swould happen ahead of time). Still, I was afraid it was someone in my race when I heard him. I was really, really hurting at this point. The course turned and made a slight incline into a very long straightaway, where I could see the finish way off in the distance. My breathing was getting so fast that I had to slow down slightly to make sure I didnt have to stop. Luckily the dude behind me was feeling it too, because I couldnt hear him behind me. I knew he was close though with the cheering from the few spectators. The last half mile or so was pure torture, and it was a supreme mental effort to keep going. Finished mile 3 in 6:36 and was able to muster a feeble kick to the line. Crossed in 19:44, 4th place overall and 1st in AG. The guy behind me finished 6 seconds later and is 39, so I was very glad I was able to fend him off, especially because this race had hardware only for 1st. Happy with the time, especially considering the heat. A little disappointed though because my pace was for a PR until that last mile, which is usually my strength. I may need to adjust my pacing with this heat becoming such a factor.