I wasn't planning on doing a race this weekend, but one of my running friends, Jacob Carrigan sent me a message about this race, which gave $100 to the winner. Since I was planning on doing a workout anyway and the race took place in the park that I do a lot of my training in, I decided to head on down.
My plan was to run it around 10k effort and run somewhere in the 15:20s. This was one of the first cold mornings of the fall and it was right around 40 degrees. The race seemed to be pretty low key but gave cool looking shirts. It was a fundraiser for and around 100 people or so where there.
Since moving to the longer races, I find myself sometimes getting too complacent with the faster intensities. I can run half marathon pace all day (well, if 13.1 miles is a day) but if I don't focus on keeping my foot on the gas pedal in the shorter races, I lose a lot of time. Because of this, I wanted to get out a little fast to try and keep me in the zone.
Some little girl took off at the start of the race and I didn't pass her until about a 1/4 mile later. I didn't catch the first mile fast enough to split my watch, but I went through in 4:51. I was surprised that it felt so nice and controlled. After the first mile, you continue down the trail before making a 180 degree turn and go back the way you came. I backed off some during the second mile and ran a 5:01. I was getting a little bit tired and knew I had some time in the bank, so I backed off a little bit more. At this point, I was running against traffic, which usually takes away a lot of my focus. I could feel the tiredness start to creep in, but I felt I was going to hit my time without much issues.
I was surprised when I went through the third mile in 5:12 because I didn't realize I slowed down that much and it actually felt a little bit tough. I crossed the line in 15:37, which was a little frustrating because the effort felt harder than that. My GPS read 3.17 miles, which is about on par for a certified 5k, especially with the turnaround and winding trails.
I'm hoping to be in shape to run faster than this pace for an entire half-marathon in about a month's time, so I have work to do. For now, I'll just chalk it up to lack of fitness and tired legs from hard training.