So I wake up and look look at the temperature its a balmy 22 degrees and windy. So what is the best way to spend the morning? Stay in bed? Lounge around the house and drink coffee? Of course not. The best thing is to head a couple of miles up the road to our free weekly 5k, the College Park, Parkrun. Why pick today for my first race in 6 months? My only answer is, why not? Besides, it a nice, flat out and back course, perfect for a blisteringly fast time. My total elevation gain for the race was 37 feet. That is correct, 37 feet. Did I mention that this course is really flat?
So I head up to the start and find about 50 other crazy people geting ready to start. I try to get in a quick warm up, but my legs aren’t having any of it and then we head up to the starting line. There are a couple of “quick” announcements and then we are off and running.
So off we go, I guess I failed to mention Luke was joining me on this little escapade. Somewhere in the first 3 or 4 tenths of a mile, Luke looks at his watch and looks at me and says: “were at 6:30”. I do some quick thinking and say “OK”. I figure since this is a short race, I should be fine at a faster than normal pace. About 10 seconds later, my legs and lungs are telling me:
“6:30 is not a sustainable pace.”
So I drop it down a notch and see Luke begin to slip away from me. I make it through the first mile in 6:49 and am thinking:
“14 minutes to go, this is going to hurt!”
So I settle into what for me is a sustainable, yet uncomfortable pace for the duration of the race. Even though at times it felt like I was on the verge of falling apart, I evenly split the next two miles at a 7:18 pace and ramped it up to a mid-6 minute pace for the final 2 tenths of a mile. And hit the finish line at 22:01.
Not quite the time I had hoped for, but not so bad for my first race in more than 6 months. (But really, 22:01? Couldn’t I have found 2 seconds out there somewhere on the course?) A good thing is it leaves me with lots of room for improvement as the year goes on. And more importantly, it gives me a target to shoot at, by the end of May I intend to get my time down to under 21 minutes.
And on a side note, if anyone is interested, Luke ran a 20:08 and looked like he was going to die in the process. It shouldn’t be long until he breaks the 20 minute barrier.
Until next time. . .