I competed in a local 5k last weekend, after having this race recommended by a friend. I figured that it would give me a good opportunity to see how my run training is coming along. I was hoping for a good result, especially after going sub 20 minutes for the first time in a training time trial at the track just before Christmas.
This is the second 5k I have ever raced that is not a triathlon, the other one was almost 3 years ago and was my first running race since I was 17 and any distance over 400meters.
I didn’t really care where I placed, but it did want to beat my recent 19:12 time. My plan was to start out steady and see what I could do to hold a good pace/effort. I didn’t use any GPS/pace watch, just looked at my lap time at each mile marker.
The race was titled a “Frozen 5k” but the weather played nice and was actually 34 degrees – I still ran with gloves, but there were some people with shorts and short sleeves, crazy!
I lined up about 10 rows of people from the start line and for the first few hundred meters found myself weaving through the crowd in front, I was then able to quickly settle into a pace that felt good. As I passed the first mile marker, my watch said 5:54, this was a little faster than I was planning but not too far off (anything under 6:10 was the plan). I tired to hold this pace for as long as I could, and was getting closer to the front of the pack – I could actually see the leaders a couple of times. My split for mile 2 was 6:15, slower than I had expected, but who knows how accurate the miles were marked. Adding the first 2 miles together had me right on my target 6:10 pace, so I was pretty happy with that. For the last 1/2 mile I picked up the pace and tried to finish strong. Only one person passed me with about 1/4 mile to go – I tried but just couldn’t go with him.
I crossed the line with at time of 18:50 - a 22second PR! I was very happy about that, I even managed to finish 2nd in my age group and 16th overall.
the race was very well organized, with timing provided by mettle timing they had the timing chip integrated with the race number, this was a nice touch. After the race there was plenty of water, muffins, bananas and hot drinks for everyone. The other nice thing they had was a video camera at the finish line. Today I received an email with instructions to view/download my finish. You can see me cross the line about 10 seconds in. I was only a few seconds ahead of the first female finisher, she helped keep me motivated to run hard
Next time I’ll try to start closer to the front of the pack, this way I can start with the faster runners and have less traffic for the first minute or so.
Only 3 weeks ago, my main goal was to break 20 minutes for the first time, and now I have gone under 19. My next goal is to beat 18:38, that will be just under 6:00/mile, I think this is doable in 2012. I will post updates through the year as I get closer.