I didn't really have any expectations for this race after yesterday's workout. I wanted to do well and run hard, but I didn't expect to set a PR or do very well in the standings. The one goal I had was to finish with negative splits. I always go out too hard and die toward the end and I'm trying to change that and learn to pace myself better.
My legs felt better than I expected this morning. They were a little stiff and sore, but not too bad. I had some Special K and a bagel for breakfast, stretched for a while and headed to the Overture Center to register.
They had to change the course due to all of the ice, so the new course was an out and back on Observatory, which is hilly so I expected the race to be tough. The first mile was a struggle. My legs felt slow and sluggish and Observatory killed me. I was hurtin. But what goes up, must come down and I was able to pick up the pace and recover a bit on the backside of Observatory hill. Then there was a short flat section before the turn around and I was able to hold a steady pace and recover from the hills....just in time to run them again. The second time was tough, but I was able to pick up a few spots and close the gap on two runners in front of me.
I was pretty spent after those hills, and there was still about a half mile to go and two runners in front of me I wanted to pass. I've been reading a book on Steve Prefontaine, and I thought about a quote of his that last half mile that helped me close the gap and eventually pass those 2 runners.
"A lot of people run to see who's the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts."
It's a good quote to think about at the end of a 5K, because everyone is hurting that last half mile and it's all about guts at that point. Who's willing to ignore the pain and push themselves to their limits? Who's willing to suffer the most?
My only goal for this race was to run negative splits, and I met that goal so I'm really happy about that. In retrospect, I should've pushed a little harder on that first mile, but I'm not going to stress over that because I had no idea what pace I could hold for 3.1 miles. I haven't run this hard in a long time. It was a good way to start the year.
I think this was a PR too...by a couple of seconds. I'm not sure though. I can't remember what my best time is. If it's not a PR, it's very close. My goal is to break 20 minutes, so I'm not really concerned with PRs that aren't under 20. As for the standings, I have no idea where I finished. They haven't posted the results yet so I'll post those later along with a few pictures. Here are my splits:
Mile 1 = 6:53
Mile 2 = 6:36
Mile 3 = 6:32
Last .1 = 5:07
Update: They posted the results. I got 11th place overall, 3rd in my division - better than I thought I did so I'm pretty happy with my results. Officially my time was 20:29.