Goal was a PR (38:22) and hopefully sub 38 minutes (6:07 pace). Weather was perfect (mid 40's, sunny, no wind). Course flat and certified. A "no excuses" race if ever there was one!
It was a big race with 11,000 runners combined for the 5k and 10k. I started a couple rows back and had a clean start.
- First mile seemed really fast, but there were some buildings so maybe garmin got confused as it had me going at 5:45 pace. I hit the mile marker in 5:56, which seemed a little more likely.
- Mile 2 was better, and I settled into low 6 minute pace. Passed the marker at 12:03, for a perfect 6:07 split.
- Mile 3 I slowed a little and was feeling it, kept going about 6:10 but crossed the marker at 18:19 for a 6:15 split. The 5k runners had turned off and the course really thinned out. This is not my best time in a 10K and I was not having any fun. But 18:19 was 1 second faster than my 37:59 plan so I was still in this race!
- Mile 4 was a battle to keep going strong. I just hate mile 4, and always slack off. Managed to get thru it in 6:14. Feeling bad, and now about 6-7 seconds off pace. sub 38 was looking hard and the PR was now seriously at risk.
- We hit the turnaround right at the start of the fifth mile and I decided it was time to STFU and run. I caught and passed the 2 people that had been 20 yards ahead for the last mile. Then started the long home stretch. Got down to low 6 pace for a bit but was struggling. Ended up doing mile 5 in about 6:14 so my little kick at the turn hadn't helped all that much! 30:48 at the marker, against a plan of 30:34.
- Mile 6, just 8 minutes to go. Picked it up and got back down under 6 minute pace. Hurt a lot, but I can do this for just a few more minutes and I held off the runner behind me. Mile 6 marker came up quickly after 5:44, so I knew it was wrong (should have been 5:55). I was at 36:33 against a plan for 36:41. However, if mile 6 is short, that usually means that the next part will be long.....
- Final .213 miles. This should be about 1:18 at 6:07 pace and I was going faster than that. However it was more than .213 miles and I took 1:32. Crossed the line at 38:05, barely missing the sub 38, but at least salvaging a 17 second PR.
Official result was 38:07, 31st plcae out of 3,200+ runners, and 5th in my age group. Too fast in mile 1 (as usual) and then sloppy in miles 3/4/5 but with a fairly good finish. I did a good job running the tangents on the curvy streets but really need to watch that early pace and somehow find a way to gut it out in those middle miles.
Next up is the Bah Humbug! 5K in San Ramon on Saturday December 5th.