I had an idea of what to expect this evening, but if I didn't do what I had thought I wasn't going to beat myself up too much, simply because I haven't gotten in a lot of speed work lately. Fortunately, it did go as planned. Goal was to break 19 minutes and I did so. Finished in 18:55, good enough for 9th place.
That's also a PR. Old one was 19:05, set back in 2006. Sweet. I don't race 5K's often, so it was a nice treat to finally set a new one at this distance, and as a Master no less. Jeff and Blaine say this course adds around 30 seconds to a normal road time because it's on packed trails. That seems a bit much to me, but if that's the case...awesome. I'll seek out a road 5K and put that to the test sometime this summer.
Picked up my bib number and ran into Jim G. Also saw Ian. The three of us ran a few miles to warm-up. Threw in my usual high kicks and butt kicks to loosen up.
Was hanging out at the start line about five minutes before the race and was excited to see Jeff jog up. He makes a good carrot for races, however, he said he wasn't racing. Damn. Him and Ian went to run the course before the race started and said they'd be at the finish.
The time came and we lined up.
Mile One (5:55):
We were off. Quick start but it felt comfortable. I was with the front pack and feeling the pull, but I checked my pace and knew that if I kept that up it would translate to a short fuse. I pulled it back a little and as a result a few folks passed me, but I knew it was the right thing to do.
Mile Two (6:12):
Settled into our paces now. However, I noticed the pace for this mile was a little slower than I would have liked. I was passed by one person, a woman who I knew was second woman. Her stride was smooth and efficient and I knew there was little chance of getting her back.
I remember two folks passing me when I stepped off the gas a little after the start. I was coming up on one of them now. Younger kid in a Bruins t-shirt. Started to reel him in on the uphill and then passed him on the turn on to the overpass.
Mile Three (6:06):
Caught up to Blaine on the bridge and ran with him for a few hundred yards. Managed to say "Hey Blaine" in between gasps for air and he returned the greeting with much less effort. On the turn off the overpass the wind was now in our faces and I drafted off him a bit. I then passed him, but in all fairness to Blaine, he is obviously a way stronger runner than I am. He and his wife just had a daughter a few weeks ago and it's very safe to say he wasn't going all out.
Saw another runner who had passed by me earlier in the race, caught up and drafted off him a bit. Saw an opportunity to make a move and took it, putting on a little extra as we passed some pedestrians in an attempt to keep him off my tail.
I could see the finish line in the distance and glanced at my watch. At the time I had about a minute to get there if I was going to break 19 minutes so I kept it going and started to initiate the kick.
Final Tenth (5:19/mile pace):
Kick was going and another glance at my watch showed I would break 19 for the first time ever. Sweet! Saw Jeff and Ian near the finish line and appreciated their shouts of encouragement. Crossed the finish line very happy.
Thanked a few of the aforementioned runners for pulling me along and chatted a bit, and then walked over to where Ian and Jeff were. I then did my customary vurps and went for a cool down run with Jeff and Blaine.
Very happy with everything overall. Pacing was pretty consistant and I felt I did very well with race strategy. I think I could have been a little more conservative at the start and a little stronger in that second mile, but maybe the two balanced each other out. All in all, very pleased.
Also, I have a goal to rack up as many top 10 finishes as I can this summer. Didn't think I would get one today, so stoked that I did. 9th place seems to be a theme this year...I placed that at the Midcoast Half Marathon and at the Pineland Farms 10K as well.
Ran 3.1 miles @ 6:05/mile pace.
Official time: 18:55
Overall placing: 9th out of 208
Upper 60s, mostly cloudy, breezy.
Nike Waffle Racer XIII, shorts.
w/u: 2.5 miles @ 7:25/mile pace.
c/d: Ran 1.3 miles @ 8:30/mile pace.