Wow, this race went pretty well. Though I wasn't sure what to expect, it still went better than I thought. My legs have only felt like they've been coming around recently, so it was hard to gauge what I thought I could do at this point. As I mentioned yesterday, I thought I'd be able to break 20:00, but wasn't sure by how much.
As I was getting my bib number, I saw Jeff in the parking lot, who was getting out for a very extended warm up. I declined to join him, as I only planned on two miles to warm up. After that was done, I ran into Ian and we chatted a bit until it was close to race time.
We then lined up and were off.
Mile One - 6:15
Tried to be mindful of going out too fast, but thought I'd try to hold on to around 6:00/mile and go from there. Maintained that the first half mile or so, but then a gnarly crosswind became a fierce headwind as the path curved around the cove. The runners around me began to settle into their paces for the most part. I noticed one fellow in a gray shirt I had been running alongside with began to pull ahead a little.
Mile Two - 6:16
The headwind continued for a while, but as the cove turned (sounds like a soap opera) it gradually became a crosswind again. Gray shirt guy was maybe 15 yards ahead and I was holding the pace with him. The path then began to make the small climb to where it goes alongside the I-295 overpass and we passed a guy here. Was pleasantly surprised to see I hit the second mile in about the same time as the first mile and was still feeling relatively good. Emphasis on relatively. 5K races hurt.
Mile Three - 5:58
Wind at our backs now. Towards the top of the overpass, I caught the guy in the gray shirt, but I could hear his footsteps not far behind. We then began the downhill and he caught up and passed me. In doing so, we exchanged good jobs at the same time, and he followed it up with a "c'mon!" along with a waving hand gesture, encouraging me to go with him. I really appreciated that and it was yet another great example of the good sportsmanship our sport possesses. Unfortunately for me though, I couldn't pull myself up to him, but did my best to keep up.
Maybe about three tenths of a mile from the finish, I looked at my Garmin, this time noting the time. I had been checking my pace throughout the race, but had never looked at my time until now. Crap, I was way closer to breaking 19 than I thought! That lit a spark, and I dug in deeper and really focused on cranking out whatever I had left.
Last Tenth of a Mile - 5:05/mile pace
Kicked it in with all I could, but the seconds were moving faster than my legs could in order to break 19 or even PR. I crossed the finish with an official time of 19:08, just three seconds off. Nice, I'll gladly take it. I didn't really expect to do this well. Like I said, legs feel like they're just now coming around since the marathon, so I'm really stoked with my time.
After the race, chit chatted with Jeff, Ian and some other runners and then Jeff joined me for part of the cooldown run. Great race for me and a lot of fun. Really happy with how it panned out and goof fuel for the fire to break the 19:00 mark sometime this summer. I can see it's pretty doable now.
Ran 3.1 miles @ 6:08/mile pace.
Official time: 19:08
Placing: 10th out of 256
Around 60 degrees, partly sunny, very windy.
Brooks Mach 11, shorts, short sleeved shirt.
warm up: 2.1 miles @ 7:15/mile pace.
cool down: 1.0 mile @ 8:32/mile pace.