- Dream goal: Under 28:26 (9:10 min/mile pace)
- Goal #2: 5k PR under 30:00 (9:40 min/mile pace)
- Goal #3: 5k PR (under 30:26, 9:49 min/mile pace)
I usually add a default "finish upright and smiling" goal, but in this case if I'm smiling before I reach the finish line I probably didn't run it hard enough. I'll save the smiles for after the finish line.
WOOO HOOO! I wasn't smiling immediately after the finish line (I was huffing and puffing and trying to breathe), but I certainly am now!!
Watch time: 28:02
Pace: 9:02 min/mile
5K PR reduced by 2 minutes 24 seconds
It's possible that the official time may be a second or two faster when it's posted.
It was a fairly large 5K race for this area and even though we arrived nearly an hour ahead of the start, we snagged one of the last spaces in the close-in parking area. Remember to arrive early for this club's races, they're well-run and popular!
The course was fully within a small park which was evidently once a working farm. I warmed up along the last mile of the course, which was helpful because it gave me a preview of what the finishing stretch would look like.
The course was intelligently planned, with the first mile along a 2-lane road which gave us runners a chance to spread out before we entered the paved trail which constituted the final two miles of the race.
It was moderately rolling terrain but no terrible steep hills. I started out running hard and I did everything I knew how to keep running as hard as I could the whole way.
I only looked at my watch once during the race, at the one-mile marker. It confirmed my impression of the pace: 8:55, which is a one-mile PR for me. Whew. OK, that means I have to keep running as hard as I can for 2.1 more miles.
I heard Joe Bator in my head: "Use your arms to pull yourself up the hills." I pulled.
I heard Debi Bernardes in my head: "Pick up your cadence." I picked it up.
I heard my training buddy Dave in my head: "Stop dragging your feet." I picked them up too.
I heard Bob Mina in my head: "You learned how to run in pain." I felt pain and ignored it.
I heard Kurt Egli in my head: "JFR." I just friggin' ran.
I left nothing on the course. I don't think I could have run it a single second faster today.
Interestingly, my heart rate (blue line) and pace (bottom red line) all rose and fell in lock-step with the grade (top red line). I tried to come over the top of each rise running strong, pick up the pace on the crest of the hill and then use the downhills to let gravity give me some free speed.
The result at the finish line was the fastest running I've done since my twenties (and I no longer have those finish times, so I may even be faster now). It was by far my best age-graded result (60%).
The good news is that a solid running PR sets off my 2008 with a bang!
The bad news is that my time predicts that I may be able to take off ten more minutes from my half marathon PR next month. I've still got a lot of miles of hard running yet ahead of me.
Bring it on.