Two races ran today, the BDR Safety Harbor 10k followed an hour later by the 5k. The plan was to shoot for a time goal on the first one, and then race the leader in the second one, and hopefully conserve some energy for the half marathon tomorrow.
Race 1: The 10k. The weather was very rainy, 60 degrees, and fortunately no wind. Didn't really matter, I'm always game for weather hiccup and it's not like I'd be the only one feeling it- definitely had to wear the hat though, so thank goodness I had a backup one in the car. I was straight up PUMPED when I saw RJ toeing the line after my warmup. I knew he'd be in excellent shape, so it was highly motivating.
The gun went off and I slipped into the lead within 50 meters and the footfalls were gone by the first half of a mile. I just relaxed into my form and stayed there. There are times when you wax and wane in and out of 'flow', but this was just one of those races where I was in that mindset until mile 5. It really felt beautiful. The finish was a hard effort, but still didn't unleash a sprint. I don't know what's my deal with that- I've been practicing it, yet can't seem to find the motivation to drop it down when it comes time. Anyway, very happy with the result, the insane PR from 34:31 down to this, and lastly the coveted course record on definitely a non-course record day!
Splits- 1st 5k- 15:59, 2nd 5k- 15:45
Me-31:44, RJ- 32:52, 3rd- 33:47, 4th- 34:14, 5th- 34:42
Race 2- the 5k Finished in 15:29 in 1st overall. This was supposed to be the easy leg of the three races. Wow was I wrong. I was not expecting anyone to show up! Only once in the past 8 years of this race has anyone gone under 16:20, and that was the course record- so I figured after the 10k, I had this in the bag given I just ran two sub 16s in a row and negative split the second one. I almost got the karma I deserved. I'm a bit ashamed by both my complacency and disrespect, but we all have to grow sometime- even us old guys.
Anyway, to the race. The gun goes off and one kid shoots off like a bullet- I don't know what it is about 5ks, but I seriously think people must believe they are actually 400m sprints or something. I'll never understand it. Running in jeans? Sprinting in a sweatshirt? Wearing a poop emoji outfit careening through the rain? Doesn't matter- there they go, galavanting away full throttle. The 5k really brings such an odd crowd of runners out.
I pass the young gentlman shortly there after as he gasps for breath, and I roll through the first half mile at 5:00/mile pace. But there are footsteps behind me. Okay. I run the next half mile at 4:52/mile pace- and there are still footsteps. Not good. Particularly because I am out in front, so I am the one being read. Options... stay at this pace? That's all I have in my tank if I do that and my cards are laying out on the table for everyone to see. Slow it down gradually and see if I can slow him as well? Check. I roll through the halfway mark at a 4:59/mile pace- and I still heard them. Same distance, same pattern and turnover. We've got a race it seems. By the mile 2 marker I had slowed the pace to 5:04/mile. This turned out to be a good idea, since he was letting me slow and not evening it out, nor trying to pass me. Fortunately, I recovered a bit by this point, so I kept it there for the turnaround and maybe another quarter mile and then hammered the last half mile to the mile 3 marker. I felt him close, so I had to look over the shoulder a couple of times coasting to the finish, but I just held a 10 second cushion to the finish! What a fun race. Can't wait to do it again tomorrow- half marathon time. I won't go into it tomorrow expecting anything. Whoever shows up, shows up. If I get beat, they will be better than me. Period.
Splits- 4:57, 5:04, 4:59, 0:29
Me- 15:29, 2nd- 15:39, 3rd- 16:26, 4th- 16:45