ENOUGH WITH THE SMALL TALK. HOW'D IT GO?
I crushed my goal of 21:00 with a 19:50, a mere 27 seconds slower than my PR and 13 seconds faster than Dash Down Greenville, the last time I ran fast, about 2 months earlier. I might have been aiming a little low, but I definitely didn't expect my 2nd fastest 5K ever.
DID YOU WIN?
I made it to the first page of the results, coming in 59th place out of 4039 overall, including 56th of 1830 men and 8th of 278 in my age group.
HOW'D THAT HAPPEN?
Coming off of Boston and Big Sur, the peroneal tendonitis in my right leg that had laid dormant for a year started to make a return. With a 50K looming just 36 hours after this race, I probably should have just laid way back and enjoyed a friendly jog with my co-workers, 5 of whom showed up as well.
But as with many, when I line up, it's hard to lay off (and sure, maybe I wanted to show off a little). I headed out of Reverchon Park at a controlled but quick pace, got up the Blackburn hill with no trouble and headed toward the trail entrance.
Somewhere in here I had a feeling I'd never before experienced. I was coming up on the halfway point thinking, this is it? I've run dozens and dozens of races but this was really the first time where, during the event, I felt as though it was going to be over before I even really got going.
Coming down the trail past the 2-mile mark, it was obvious I would be safely under 21:00. I passed folks here and there, but one of them stuck to my left shoulder as I went by. I could sense him there; that feeling just drives me crazy. I was made more insane by the constant jingling of his keys or some other item he was carrying that sounded like a little bell of some sort. I tried running faster to lose him, but he stayed right there in my shadow. Just before the finish, he zipped past me, but by then I had turned in a 3rd mile faster than the first 2 and a 2nd consecutive negative split event (I negative-split Big Sur by 11 seconds, though the course had a lot to do with that).
I can't think of anything to add other than I think I put my quite expensive sunglasses down somewhere and forgot about them, so that kinda canceled out the joy of the thing.
5:56 pace last .1
OK, WHAT ABOUT THE REAL REASON WE ALL RUN, THE STUFF?
I would issue my standard "it's a 5K; you get a shirt" line, but the real reason to plunk down the 40 bucks and run this is the after-party. Some 30 or 35 restaurants show up and feed you and ply you with alcohol until you can take no more. This ain't bagels and bananas; I was chowing down on fresh cookies and pasta and some kind of fancy shrimp cocktail thing. There's a reason they can sell out 5000 spots at 40 bucks a pop for a midweek race. (There's also a reason to run as fast as you can: to hit all the food and beverage tables before the crush of folks come through.)
Next was the 4 Pines 4 Ways 50K, which I ran Saturday. Race report is forthcoming.