41st annual event. My 12th time here for either the 5K or 5 miles, 13th New Years Day race. Took it easy in the past week, but also felt really slow. Time of year, diet, cold weather......who knows. I am actually afraid that I won't be able to run 9/mile today if it goes like the last couple of runs. Well I have eaten better the past two days and am well rested by not going out last night so we shall see.
25 degrees and sunny. No wind, so while it is freezing, I have run in worse. Shorts, but two long sleeves and a Defiance vest. Pedro also has his blue Defiance vest on, so you know it must be cold.
Warm up for almost two miles. Feeling OK. With four minutes to the start I line up on the track.
Start - Smaller crowd than previous years. Lots of fast runners as usual. I activate the foot pod that I got for Christmas but have not tried yet. The green light flashes, but I have no idea how to use it. It did sync to my phone but I do not carry that phone while running. All the instruction say is that I tap it and run. I have my Garmin GPS watch too. We start right on time. Pedro in front of me, and I had hoped to stay with him for a while. But he is so fast, I have to let him go right from the start. I am pushing it faster than I should. Round the track, now up the hill out of the stadium and the hill feels like hitting the wall. Must figure out a better pace once I get on flat ground. Doing a five mile race once a year does not help with pacing.
Mile 1 - 1.04 on the GPS and 7:48 on the watch. Keep reminding myself that this is 5 miles, not 5K and I should not be going all out. I am OK with my pace and I trust my endurance, but it is right on the edge. Legs feel slow, but not nearly as bad as earlier this week. Breathing is hard.
Mile 1.55 - The 5K turn around. I have enough breath to make my joke about is it too late to switch the the K race. Two runners just in front of me, 10 steps past the turn around, look back and ask if that is the K turn around. I thought it was marked alright, but they blew right past it. I convince them, in fact shout out, "yeah, turn around if you are doing the Ks!" and they both head back.
Mile 2.25 - Two people that I did not recognize shout out "Go Andy", and I think that the guy on my tail might also be an Andy. I sort of want to ask him, but I just can not talk and run at this pace. Legs and breath are equally uncomfortable. Gary Cooper sighting.
Mile 2.4 - Tony and Christie sighting. Looking great.
Mile 2.5 - 19:27 on the watch. Need an even split to beat 39 minutes. Now the runners behind me are coming towards me. Only a couple and then some long gaps. Is that it? One turn and then another turn and I am relived to see a large clump of runners coming on. OK, I won't be that close to the last.
Mile 3 - All thinned out. There won't be much passing or being passed. I am going a little faster with a small downhill, but barely holding on. Try to focus on the running, but my mind keeps wandering.
Mile 4 - 31 minutes. I need an 8 minute mile. Not sure I can do it as I am struggling now. Pass a couple of 5Kers. Really tough now, but still in a good mood and happy to be out here.
Mile 4.5 - Rough patch. Hope I can make time up on the downhill and track. Two people pass me. Now down the hill and pick it up as best I can. I have no finishing kick. I can see the clock at 38:45 with 100 meters to go. I know that super fast sprinters can do the 100 meter in ten seconds. Can I do it in 15? Nope.....I watch the clock hit 39 and a few seconds later I am in.
Mile 5 - 5.07 on the GPS. Foot pod never registered. Disappointing to be 84 seconds slower than last year. Second slowest time of ten 5 milers here. But not so far off, and better than I was afraid of. Cool down mile and hang around for results.
Still a fun way to welcome the new year.
Feeling like if I want to get faster I need to either pick marathons and train for them, or just do short stuff. I love all distances so I continue to not reach my potential at any of them. For now I am OK with that.
42nd place of 77
6th of 6 in age group!