This is the third year I've done this race. Last year I was sick with a cold, so this year I was hoping to run a much better time. The race was a week later this year and ended up working out pretty good time wise. One week before Ironman Florida 70.3 which has been my focus the entire offseason.
I've been doing this race because some of my friends do it, it is easy to get to for me, and there is free beer. Like good beer. It benefits Project2Heal that provides labrador retrievers to people with physical and emotional issues.
I walked over to pick up my bib and saw my friends Paul and Shannon with Para-Guide. Para-Guide helps visually impaired people do more physical activities. Then I went over and got my packet. I hung out for a little bit and then headed back over to the car. It was a little chilly as it was still in the 40's.
I put my bib on my singlet and then went for a warm up run. I did 2 miles at my normal 8 min warmup pace. I felt sufficiently warm so then I stripped down and put my shorts and singlet on. I hit a gel, then headed over towards the start. I did some striders and pickups then moseyed over to the front of the start.
When we made the turn onto Tryon Street and started uphill, the wind hit us pretty good. It was a little windier than I thought. Still, I hit the the first 1/2 mile at a 5:10/mile pace. I was in the top 5 at this point. As we continued up Tryon, I definitely slowed some. Before the first mile, a pack of 3 guys passed me. I hit the mile mark in 5:32, and knew the wind had slowed me some at that point.
I tried to push and could see that the guys in front of me weren't pulling away that fast. I really slowed some in the 1/2 mile after the mile mark probably doing about 6:10-6:15 pace. About then we turned south onto the walkway by the light rail tracks. I could feel the wind at my back and I tried increase my turnover. I did speed up to about a 5:50-5:55 pace, but that was only good to give me a 6:06 split. Killing my overall pace.
Last mile, so I tried to use the wind and push. My pace was pretty up and down with the elevation. A guy came chugging by me with a jog stroller and didn't even seem like he was working at all. That was depressing. Another guy passed me with a half mile to go.
With 1/4 mile to go we make the turn onto Griffith Street, and it's mostly uphill from here. But I was able to push and pass 2 guys there and finish quite strong. I couldn't catch the babyjogger guy. He beat me by 1.4 seconds. (Watch video of me getting beat by a jog stroller HERE). In hindsight I should have pushed more, as I split a 5:57 in the final mile.
So I came across the line in 18:22. I really thought I could break 18 again like I did 2 years ago. I think the wind and zero speed work (less than 3 min intervals) probably sunk me. I stood there with my hands on my knees for a minute or so to catch my breath before I went over and grabbed something to drink. They had some bananas, but I wasn't hungry at all.
I saw Paul and Shannon and talked with them some more. I grabbed my glass pint and headed back toward the car. I put a shirt on and then did a cooldown. I didn't really feel that bad. Not really sore or anything. After a mile, I changed and headed over to the finish to see my place.
I do like these Start2Finish races that (almost) always have a place setup that you can quickly see your placings. I had hoped to win masters and I did, with a 9th overall place. Full Results Here.
I saw my old friend Melissa that used to work at Inside Out Sports. We talked for a bit as we waited in the beer line. I got a Goldenboy and it sure did taste good. Soon they started the awards and I hung out with Paul as they announced my First Masters. I got (another) $25 gift card to Omega sports and a cool crisp $20 bill. Cash money, baby.
I hung out for a bit through the awards and then took off. 5K's are hard. You feel like you redline the entire time. Throw in some wind and hills, and it's a party. It's a well run race, with free beer, and it was great to see some of my friends. Now, On to Florida.
|The courtyard in front of Triple C's Barrel Room|