Raced my second 5K on Saturday morning. My only goal for the run was to try and go under 20 minutes. I didn’t go in with a particular strategy, other than trying to keep all my splits under 6:26. Unlike most everything else, I tried not to overthink this. Run fast, try not to puke.
The race itself is an interesting affair. They are in the process of building a toll road through our town, which is being opened in phases. Just prior to opening a section last year they ran a 5k on the road, with profits going to MADD. This year they did the same thing, only they ran in the new section set to open next week. So, although this was the second of these events, each one is a once-only race unless you’re planning to play some human Frogger.
The course was a straight line out-and-back with more hills than you’d expect on a highway. I started out with a group of 6, and slowly folks started dropping back until there were 3 of us around the turnaround, when technically I was dropping back as well. The first mile felt good, but I went out a little too fast. The second mile was tough, but it was cool to make the turn and be running the opposite direction of the whole field, who were all very supportive and cheering for the leaders while they were running. The last 1.1 miles was pretty tough, and I was tasting my granola bar for the last half-mile or so, but I managed to keep all my food where it belonged.
Net result - 19:40:
3rd overall of 375, 1st in age group. Here are the splits:
Got a nice hockey-puck/paperweight/boat-anchor for finishing first in my age group:
I really enjoyed the race, and like the all-out racing aspect of a 5k, but I’m still more interested in the longer distances and testing my mind as well as my legs. I might throw in a 5K now and then just to mix things up, but I don’t think I’ll make a habit of these. I guess my next goal would be to run one with an average pace below 6:00, but that will take some serious speedwork, which isn’t part of my Ultra training plan. Maybe next Spring.
After the 5K on Saturday I drove directly to a local trail and did another 16 miles with a friend to hit my training target for the day. The long run was ugly. The race took a lot more out of me than I thought, and it was hot and humid by the time we started the long run. Just more confirmation that early-morning running is my friend. Also, woke up all kinds of sore in my quads and calves Sunday morning, which I think is a result of the sprinting rather than the distance running. Good sore, but sore nonetheless.