Decided on a whim to run the local 4th of July 5K at City Park. Mostly because I thought it would be fun to embarrass myself and try to run a 5K on a hot day while completely out of shape. Also, there was money three deep, to $250 to the winner, and there is always the chance that no one good will show up. Although I thought it was more likely that I would place 4th...which is what happened.
Course was pretty flat. Temps were probably in the 70s at the start. So not too bad, but definitely warmer than what I like for a race. Was sweating profusely a mile into it.
Went out decently hard at the start and led for the first mile, which was 4:56. I had no gauge of speed due to not doing any workouts since early May, but it didn't feel like it was that fast. Until the 2nd mile, then the first mile caught up to me. Three people passed and pulled away during Mile 2, and I felt slow and out-of-sync. Was 10:08 at 2 miles, meaning that the 2nd mile split was 5:12. I was seriously doubting I would break 16 minutes, but was also in the dreaded 4th position, sluggishly watching the money waltz away down Taft Hill Road.
With about half a mile left, another guy caught me, putting me in 5th. But he stayed pretty close, and I passed him with a quarter mile to go and hung on to take 4th. Both 4th and 5th are equally meaningless, but 4th is still better. Or so they tell me anyway. No, it was good to have a little fight at the end and finish out the race on a positive note, rather than whimpering in like a beaten dog. Every race, every place, right? The last mile ended up actually being somewhat decent, about 5:05, I think. Although it might have been short, as the last 0.1 seemed too long. But it was also uphill for the whole last stretch, so maybe it was just very slow, and not long. It was the only hill in the course.
So ended up 4th place with a 15:52. Top 3 went 15:29, 15:31, and 15:36. 5th place was 15:55. Although I wanted to place higher, I was pretty content with my time, given the 40 mpw and no speedwork that has defined my summer so far. Coming into the race, I figured 15:50 was about the best case scenario, and that's where I ended up, although last year my time would have finished 2nd. So you never know. But this gives me a starting point and a reference for the rest of the summer, as I try to get in respectable shape again. My next race is in about a month, and is the USATF CO half marathon championships, so should have pretty good comp, as $1000 is on the line. So I better get my sorry butt in gear.
During the first mile, leading the race.
Finishing up the race.