With only three weeks to go until the marathon, my goal for this race was to run around 16:00 and keep it fast but completely under control. I felt a little bit guilty because I drove over an hour to Shelbyville to run a small-town race while Micah Tirop, Ryan Snellen, Ted Towse, Josh Foss and Ryan Chastain were all racing the same race in Nashville. I would have loved to race those guys but with the marathon so close and the fact that my body was no where near good 5k shape, I knew I should pass on a fast 5k.
After my last race, I took it somewhat easy for a few days and had an awesome marathon workout. I ran a 10k at 6:21 pace, took a minute rest, and ran another 10k at 5:28 pace. I came back later that afternoon, and ran the same session again, this time hitting 6:20 and 5:23 pace. I felt pretty strong, got in 26.3 miles for the day and got a lot of confidence in the process. I ran the first run on an empty stomach and didn't take in any carbohydrates that day until both runs were completed. The workout was designed to get in some running in in a carbohydrate depleted state and since it was so tough, I took it very easy the two days before and after the run.
Anyway, I got down to the race and saw my friend John Woodman, so we warmed up together. When the gun went off, I took my time finding my pace and was trying to see if anyone wanted to take over. Jacob Carrigan was also there, and he was just behind me, so I settled into my goal pace of around 5:10 per mile.
The first mile was pretty much completely flat and I hit 5:00 for that mile. I had a feeling the mile was really closer to a 5:10, but I continued on and tried to keep my rhythm. The second mile was also pretty flat but had a long section that included a headwind most of the way. I tried to push through the wind and hit 5:10 for that mile, which I believe was pretty accurate. The last mile was flat as well, I hit the 3rd mile with a 5:05 split and finished the race in 15:41, winning by a little over 1:30.
The time was faster than I wanted but I think the course was a little short. My friend Travis had 3.07 miles on his GPS and Jacob's GPS said 3.10 miles. Travis told me GPS watches usually measure a legit 5k course between 3.15-3.17 miles, so my "real" time was just under 16:00, which is about what I wanted.
I also won free entry into their October race in a door prize drawing, which I will probably now run. The race definitely had a small-town feel to it but it was very run well, had a nice course and I think I'll run it again next year. I was also happy to get in a good workout without overdoing it.