Alarm went off at 5. Too early for an 8:00 local race, but I actually had to get up to do some work. Our IT group was launching new software, and testing had to be done early in the morning. So it was actually good to be distracted by other things until 6:30, at which point I could get dressed and get going. Held off the nerves a little bit anyway.
got to the race by 7 with plenty of time. I got to meet with Atom Buddy
for a warmup jog, and that helped distract me too. We let the wives
stay home this time, so it was just us. But I brought my camera, and AB
agreed to take some photos of my 5K, and then I would take some of him
in the 10K which started 30 minutes later. Soon enough we were lining up
for the start. It was a perfect beach day for racing. Overcast, high
50's, light breeze.
A little stretching, a little chatting...
And, we're off!
goal was sub-20, or 6:25 pace, but I figured that would be a stretch. I
planned to go out in 6:30 (ish) and hopefully be able to hold on to
that and pick it up later if possible. But I had a feeling 6:40 pace may
be closer to my limit. My B goal of under 20:30 would make me very
So everyone takes off and I get sucked in because
there can't be that many people faster than me, right? It felt a little
fast so I checked G after a while. 5:37 pace!!!!! What! OK, ease it
back. Relax. Those people will be coming back to me soon enough. Next
check, 5:50. Slow the hell down, idiot! So I spent virtually all of mile
1 feeling like I was coasting and holding back. Lap pace gradually went
up. I was trailing one of my friends who I knew I could beat, but I was
patient. I knew he would come back to me. And he did. I passed him
right at mile 1 which I hit at 6:27. Perfect.
Now the hard
part. Mile 1 was slightly downhill, and mile 2 was back up the little
hill. The pain had settled in for a long stay. I was working about as
hard as I thought I could. But I felt good. Pace was over 6:30, but I
knew mile 3 had a downhill and I always negative split this course. So I
focused on passing people, and keeping my foot on the accelerator. I
tried not to settle for regular race pain. I was shooting for 5K PR race
This is about mile 1.5. I passed all those people.
had mile 2 at 6:34, but I lost some yardage to the official marker.
Still didn't feel like total death, so I pushed a little bit more. We
then got a nice short downhill to the beach path, leading into the final
stretch. It seems like you are almost done, but it is a good 3/4 mile
to go. Coming off the hill, mile 3 was showing 6:16 pace. Sweet! If I
can hold this, maybe I have a shot!
But I was at full
speed now, and the lactic acid was piling up; In my quads, and my arms,
oddly. My pace was faltering a bit, but I was hanging on OK. I passed 1
more guy. Then a guy passed me with 1/2 mile to go. And he looked like
he might be in my AG. I vowed to hang on to him, and I did! It was the
last little boost I needed. He's the guy in green.
went into sprint mode with 0.2 to go, and caught him with 20 yards to
spare. He let me by without a struggle, and I cruised into the finish.
Turns out he was a bandit anyway.
My pace was 6:23 for mile 3, and G had 5:37 for the last 0.15 miles. Which gave me an official time of....
(Which means G had me at 3.1 in 19:59, just sayin')
I was 100% happy with that race. I gave it a great effort, ran pretty
smart, and did my best. I feel very confident that at my next one in 4
weeks, I can take that down under 20. (Given a fair course, good
weather, etc, etc)
AB handed over the camera, and headed
over to start his 10K, and I jogged the course a bit to take some photos
for him. Perfect cool-down. Then I made it back for the award
ceremonies. And what do you know? I finished 21st overall and 3rd in my
So another fun day at the races. Season best, Loop meet, met up with many local friends. Good times.
the IN 'N OUT burger truck was not there. But I managed to find my way
to Smash Burger for lunch to celebrate my 56th 5k, and 8th fastest
Next weekend, mountain conquering, as I race to the top of Mt. Baldy (10,069')