Well, I didn't hit either of my goals, but I still feel pretty good about the race.
I wore my Vibrams, but I'm pretty sure I could have gotten away without wearing them and actually done a little better, but too late now!
It was cold at the start, somewhere in the low 50's I think, so that was a major plus! I also ran into a few of the usual suspects that I see at the local running events including Daryl. I met Daryl at work a few months ago when I noticed a guy from another company with a "26.2 sticker on his hard hat. So of course I go and start chatting it up with him. Glad I did, because he ended up playing a crucial role later on!
I also saw little Julian Perez. So instantly I knew first place was out the window. This kid can FLY! He is just now a freshman in high school and set a road 5K PR today with something in the 16:30's!!! Unbelievable! He's also very respectful and down to earth. Always a pleasure to loose to!
When the gun went off the pack thinned out within a few hundred feet. This 5K has grown to encompass 300+ people now! Julian was already 100 feet or so ahead of me before we even got to the first quarter mile marker. Did I mention that the kid is fast?
There were the typical rabbits, and I passed all of them up within the first half mile. At this point I was in 4th with Julian in the lead, some guy I don't know in second, and a younger kid named Seth in 3rd. Seth works at the local HEB. My goal was to catch Seth and snatch 3rd overall. I stayed in 4th through the first mile and started to second guess my ability to catch Seth in 3rd.
Around mile 1.5 I got passed by 2 other runners. These guys were pretty strong and I'm pretty sure I've seen their names ranked pretty highly in other local races. At the turn around point Julian was blowing everyone away, of course. The other 3 guys (whose names I don't know) were in 2nd, 3rd and 4th. The gap between 2nd and 3rd / 4th was pretty extensive. There was also a decent gap between 5th (Seth the HEB guy) to 3rd. I was about 30 seconds behind Seth and sitting in 6th place. When I hit the turn around I noticed I had a good 15~20 seconds on 7th and 8th places. One of which was Daryl.
I knew I was too far out to catch Seth and grab 5th overall, and Daryl was too far behind me to catch up. So I was running for a PR now. Of at least that's what I thought....
At about mile 2.8 Daryl came up on me fast! I let him start reeling the distance in and slowly picked up my pace in hopes that it would demoralize him enough that he wouldn't pass me.
But he did.
But I stayed on his ass. I refused to let him pull too far ahead. As we came up on the final portion we had to turn off of FM 421 and take a sharp left, a sharp right about 50 feet afterwards and then it was a straight run to the finish line.
I knew I could gain a lot of speed and momentum coming off the corners, somehow I'm good at that. So I decide to overtake Daryl on the last corner and go balls out to the finish line. Apparently he had a very similar idea, but was going to wait until after the last turn to deliver his final kick.
I did manage to pass him in the corner and it really was a guts race from there out. My legs were on fire, as we're my lungs and heart. The muscles in my arm and late were screaming at me as well since I use them only when sprinting, and I never sprint anymore. Daryl wasn't giving in either. I could feel him breathing down my neck the entire way down the stretch into the shoot.
Somehow I managed to push myself hard enough I stay in front of him across the line. I haven't ran like that in a long long time, and it felt GREAT!!!!!! Everything was pins and needles burning as I crossed the line. I was breathing harder than I had since I was running 5K's in high school competitively. I could hardly think straight, let alone stand up straight. I immediately turned around to congratulate Daryl and was happy to see he looked how I felt. At least I know it wasn't a walk in the park for him either!
Oh, by the way, Daryl has a daughter that graduated the same year that I did and ran cross country and track. So the guy is probably 47~55 in age! I'm not good with guessing ages, but I figure he has to be somewhere in that range. I wasn't aware at the start of the race that he was as fast as, if not faster than me.
So, now I know that with almost no speed training, 4 weeks off from running, and being sick the week leading up to; I can still do decent at a 5K!
This really makes me wonder what I could do at these shorter races if I actually trained myself for them! There seems to be a local 5K almost every weekend these days, compared to Ultras where there's only a handful in Texas that I could realistically attend. Not saying I'm out of the Ultra world. I still love running long! I'm just saying that I might start using a few of my week day training sessions to focus more on speed and turn over, then use my weekend long runs to focus on the long slow runs and building real endurance.
Oh yeah, back to the actual race report!
I managed to grab 6th over all with a time of 20:46.1. Not the sub 20:00 I was looking for, but not too bad either I guess. Only 3 seconds slower thank was 2 years ago. Daryl got 7th with a time of 20:47.1. But I think that I had to have been closer than that since I could practically feel his pulse screaming back against mine!
Great race! These shorter faster runs are enjoyable because A, I still get to enjoy the rest of the 23.5 hours of my day and B, I'm not drained of energy for the rest of the day. Hell, I felt perfectly fine within a few minutes of finishing the race.
I will make another "What worked, what didn't work / review" thread here soon. I need to go back and review the data before I can do that. I don't even know what my splits were yet!
Below are a few pics my wife grabbed. As usual, I'm the ugly bald guy in the "Barefoot Runners University" shirt.