So, I was happy to see that the first week of the Summer of Miles Podcast pop up mile series which is put on by the Sir Walter Miler folks would have a 5k as the bonus event. Speed wise I'm not close to what I was two years ago and really haven't done the speedwork at the paces that I need to do for my goal but I figured it would still be fun and I could try and give it my best shot.
I haven't run a sub 22 5k in 5 years when I did it 3 times in a row in summer of 2013. I seriously doubted that I would be able to this night but all I could do was go for it and see what would happen. Sometimes miracles do occur.
The meet was held at the beautiful Cary Academy Campus and I arrived in plenty of time for socializing and a proper warmup. There would be 90 plus runners for all the events combined and a lot of family and friends spectating and it was great to see so many that I knew along with a few former co-workers from the running store days. We were lucky with the weather as there was lower humidity than normal and by the time the 5k started , half the track was in the shade. I didn't feel too spiffy in my warm up but with 5 minutes to go as I was doing the usual 4 x 10 second strides, on the last two I felt a little zip in the legs. Maybe this was going to be ok.
I guess there were 20-25 runners in the 5k and I tucked in behind the faster younger runners. As far as I know there was only one other senior in the race and from the word go he was on my heels. My goal pace was about 1:46 per quarter mile and I nailed the first one but by the half I had dropped off that pace to 1:50 and thats about what I would run for the remainder of the race.
The coolest thing was having so many people call me out by name and cheer for me each lap as I came around to the front stretch. George, the other senior was right there for the first mile which I passed in about 7:15 but he was slowly falling behind now and by half way I couldn't hear him anymore. I was feeling good and locked into the pace now and slowed down a bit in mile 2 to about a 7:25, or 14:40 for 2 miles.
Now it was just dig deep and try to pick it up a bit the last mile. Of course it was getting harder to hold pace but I pushed on knowing I could endure the pain a bit longer. With half mile to go I was making the death noises. I ran the last 800 meters in 3:34 and finished strong in 22:39 which tied my fastest 5k since 2013. I ran that exact same time at the Foot Locker XC Regional year before last.
|on lap two I think with George right there|
|in the first mile with George Howe on my heels|
|representing Raleigh Yoga Company !|
|yes I was being lapped here|
|half mile to go|