After so many tries this winter, so many nights of eating the right thing, tapering, mental preparation and warm ups....no matter how much I plan, it never worked. I decided "f#@% it". The 5K is the only workout I made this week. I ate pizza, drank wine, and stayed up late. Barely woke up in time to make coffee. Got to the park with little time to spare so my warmup was a 5 minute dash to/from the car to drop off my packet. Even grabbed my ipod to distract me during the race. If I could have worn something new, I would have just for spite.
While it was warm and humid this morning, the course was flat and wind free. It's a very small race but surprisingly competitive. They had no one to sing the national anthem and asked for volunteers. When it was clear no one else would step forward, I asked if they would sing with me. Everyone agreed so I stepped up to the race director and got things going. IMO, it's a lot more fun to have a group of athletes singing together than listen to some local high school singer.
And we were off! After about 1/2 mile it became obvious that the effort was very real. No song on the Ipod would distract me so I switched to the "desperately hang onto the runner in front of me" strategy. One woman kept looking back at me. Turns out she was the chick who beat me for 3rd place by 2 seconds. Note to self for future races, that chick looking back at you is probably competition in your age group. Run her down. It's a lot easier in triathlon when our age is written on our calf.
When we passed the mile 3 marker it was clear that sub 26 would require something amazing. I'd have to run as faster than I thought possible. Pull out all the arm pumping fast turn over left in the tank. And I eeked by at 25:52 by my garmin which is substantially faster than 26:18 from February. The last 0.1 passed in 45 seconds! Damn that's fast for me but I think I could have run faster in the middle miles if I had tried to push to the front of my group instead of hanging back. Lessons learned.