Haunted Hustle 5K

Saturday I raced the Haunted Hustle 5K.  It was my first 5K since May of 2015.  Before that, my last 5K was the Lake Geneva Turkey Trot in November of 2012.  So I haven't run many 5Ks that haven't followed a bike ride in the past few years.

My 5K PR is 18:31 (5:57 pace) from 2012.  I've done two track workouts recently - 6x400 and 7x400 - that went well. I hit each 400 in 78-80 seconds (5:12-5:20 pace) and I had a good tempo run a few weeks ago so I felt like my fitness was decent.  I didn't feel like I should go for a PR, but I was thinking I could probably manage something around 6 minute pace.  I planned on going out a bit conservative with the hope that I could negative split and finish strong.

The race started and I let several people go and tried to settle into a comfortably fast/slightly conservative pace.  I checked my Garmin about 2 minutes into the race expecting to see a 6:15 (ish) average pace.  It said 5:30.  Must be wrong.  I kept the pace strong but eased up a bit just in case my Garmin was right.  There were a few runners up the road, and I was right behind two other runners so I paced off them and tried to run relaxed and find a rhythm.

My Garmin signaled one mile right as we hit the first mile marker.  5:50.  Oops.  I didn't feel bad (yet), but I was starting to feel the effort.  The two runners I was chasing were starting to pull away a bit.  I told myself to be tough and keep fighting to hold my pace.

Mile 2 was a 6:05.  Fading, but not too bad.  I figured if I could manage to hold this pace I should come in just under 19 minutes.  Not bad.  

Mile 3 was ugly.  It hurt...bad.  I ran a 6:28 pace but it felt soooo much harder than mile 1.  I had nothing.  I lost touch with the two runners I was chasing at mile 1 and was starting to worry about being caught.  I refused to look back.  I focused on pushing through the pain and holding my pace the best I could.   

I finished in 6th place overall, 1st in my age group.  My official time is 19:21 (6:14 average pace).    I don't think I've ever blown up that bad in a 5K.  I've faded, but never 40 seconds per mile.  Despite the suffering, I had a good time and am looking forward to running another 5K soon.  The Haunted Hustle is a well-run race and drew a big turnout with 950 people in the 5K. The course is also right by our new office so I'm familiar with some of it from my lunch runs. 

The next day I watched the half marathon where Courtney exceeded her goal and set a 6 minute PR running 2:00:55.  A little later in the day I ran the half marathon course for my long run.  I really liked that route.  It's challenging, but not super hilly.  It also has a lot of variety - roads, bike paths, boardwalks, crushed limestone, etc.  Courtney's PR is from a really flat course so a 6 minute PR on this course shows a lot of improvement.   

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