40th annual event of the Fort Steilacoom Running Club and my 11th time here on January 1st. My 12th January 1st race. 9th time running the 5 mile race.
Fog and low 40s, good running weather.
Goal - 37:30 would be great, anything under 38 minutes is fine. OK warm up of 1.8 miles, but I do not feel super. Traditional lack of sleep before this event. Change into my racing shoes (Brooks Launch) and I feel a little faster.
Start - Smaller crowd than most years. Overwhelmingly composed of fast males. Three things about this race and series make it not the best for me. 1) Almost all fast men. People are friendly enough but there are very few slower/casual runners. 2) The same old course - it is good to run the same course every year so I can compare times, but I am just tired of the route 3) post race results/awards always take a long time to be announced. Still no place that I would rather be on January 1.
Line up near the front, but with plenty of runners ahead of me. Countdown and start on time. Fast on the track, I go out at about 7/mile pace and will gradually slow as the outbound hills challenge me.
Mile 1.4 - Lead 5K runners coming back. I am breathing hard but the legs feel alright.
Mile 2.5 - Turn around. Now an old running pal, Ron, catches up to me. I have not seen him in quite a while. But just like old times he gradually pulls away. There are others around me. Good incentive to run hard, but it is getting tougher. I can put on small surges, but haggard breathing keeps me from sustaining the pace. Catch one guy, run a short way with him, pass him, then he surges and leaves me behind. Another guy gets past me. I do catch one runner a few minutes before the end. Gary Cooper sighting and then it is down to the track and the final bit. Legs don't respond with speed until the very end.
Finish - 5.08 miles on the GPS. Even split. Feel like I ran well but a slightly off day. The five miles is farther than the 5Ks I have been doing as "fast" races, and the plan is to work up the speed races to 10Ks and half marathons while continuing to run a long race about once a month. I do a longer cool down run, to get the monthly/yearly mileage off to a good start. Hang around for a while but the results don't seem to be forthcoming any time soon. I will update here when they are available.
Next up - White Elephant Run in Olympia in three days. Hopefully today was a good tune up for this other 5 mile race.
37:41 (4 seconds faster than five years ago, but a little slower than most of these races)
36th place of 88