Three years ago I ran the Puddle Jump 10K and the Turn Back the Clock 5K on back to back days. This year it will be a 5K double. I decided to enter this race just yesterday afternoon. It is now organized by Club Oly. $25 day of race entry is good. Fundraiser for local track programs.
Weather is colder but much better than yesterday. Nice turn out with many familiar faces. I see Rachael and also Mike who were right with me at the Pumpkin Dash last week. We should all be close again.
I take more time to warm up today, putting in two miles plus some strides. Soon enough it is time to race.
Mile 0.5 - With Rachael and now but I feel OK so I push a little harder. This is how I am going to play this race: every time I feel good I will put on a little more speed, to get to that uncomfortable/can not quite sustain pace. Then I ease back just a bit until I am feeling good again. I tell myself that if I feel good, I am not running hard enough. The 5K is not meant to be pleasant.
Mile 1.2 - Made the right turn onto the paved trail and now I am racing at the exact place that I was racing yesterday. I catch up to 9 year old amazing Oliver, who does not want me to get by and puts on his own surge. I do get by him eventually. Soon I see a much older (13?) Dylan coming back in about 5th place. He has been beating me for a couple of years now. One woman up here, so Rachael will have to settle for second place overall.
Mile 2.5 - Uneventful return trip. Keep working harder if I feel at all at ease. The gut is better than yesterday but does seem to be the thing that is holding me back. Finally now the legs start to tire and my pace slows. Crossing College Street I can tell the the police are letting traffic through behind me, so I know that no one is very close. Now I start to wonder if I can beat yesterday's finish time (22:22).
Mile 2.9 (mile 6 of the 10K marker) - Doing the math in my head, I think that I have a chance to beat that time. No one has passed me since about mile 1.3.
Mile 3.0 - Wow it is going to be close, but I need to get sprinting! I run as fast as I can, cross the line and stop my watch right at 22:22
Finish - 3.13 on the GPS. Yesterday's chip time was 22:22.5. Today is not chip timed, but I did start very near the front. Rich has me clocked at 22:22.3. A slightly longer course today (according to my GPS, but both are close enough to be called accurate and today's course is certified). The better weather, the better sense of competition and a better stomach helped me match yesterday's time.
At the awards I get a first in age group ribbon with a packet of Gu
Next up - First Call Veterans Day Marathon. Plenty of speed work in the bank, but no run over 7 miles in 4 weeks time. The 50K from 4 weeks ago will have to do. I have enjoyed these small short races of late, and if I have taken an endurance hit, I am willing to pay that price.
8th place of 120