AM: 5M wm; 5k Race (15:05); 12 M cd :: 20M
It was just about a perfect day to race this morning. Cool, light breeze, not overly humid. Initially I didn't feel great during the warmup, but once the blood got flowing I felt more and more comfortable. Thoughts of the first mile filled me with a little dread. I haven't exactly been doing LSD the last few weeks, but I haven't spent much time out of the comfort zone. I had visions of all manner of pain and suffering.
I experimented with an old trick from my college days prior to the race. About 15 minutes before the start I ran 3 min and what felt like a hard tempo pace. It got the blood flowing good, but didn't drain me, especially for a 5k. I went to the line feeling pretty good all around.
From the start I got into a good position along the curb just behind the leaders. My stride felt great as we covered the first section of the course to Cedar Ave. Approaching 1 mile I started to lose contact with the front of the pack, but I wasn't hurting, just maintaining my pace. I came through in 4:45 and said a little prayer. It was my worst fear that I would see 5:00 or something. It was good to know that the effort matched the pace.
Racing around the far side of Lake Nokomis the pack started to thin out and moved towards single file. I started to do some passing and as we came back around to Cedar Ave I found myself within striking distance of the leading pack of three (Joey, Jeremy, and Chris). Based on the results of the race, its hard to say that I made a "mistake", but it was at this point that maybe I should have kept on surging to latch onto the back of this pack. As it was, I relaxed a little bit and consequently watched as they slowly pulled away. I was in no-mans land now and, unfortunately my thoughts turned to what was going on behind rather than in front of me.
I was feeling very strong though. Each step felt powerful and I was running very relaxed it would turn out. Coming through 2 miles in 9:39 I could still do math well enough to realize I had a chance at sub-15:00. I picked up the pace as much as I could, but was still too tentative. As I watched Chris fall off the pack ahead I made an attempt to close the gap. It shrunk ever so slightly, but as we crossed over the starting line with about 400m to go in the race I could see it wasn't going to happen. Had I had that do-or-die finish I may have squeaked under 15:00, but I glided over the finish line in 15:05.
Before the race I would have taken 4th place/15:05 just fine, but after feeling the potential I had out there on the course, I have to say I was a little bummed. However, looking ahead I have to feel good that I'm entering my training cycle in this kind of shape without having extended myself in preceding weeks.
Top Gun is gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
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