How I PRed in the 5K not running all that hard

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September 29, 2013 by scratchtype1

It wasn’t until Thursday this last week that I decided to put the money in for a 5K race being held today. I went in with a goal of running it something above easy, probably what might be around 10K to 10 mile race pace. It’s hard to say some, because I haven’t raced for a few years. The big thing was I just wanted to get reacquainted with the race atmosphere and environment, and that would help me out in 4 weeks when I run what will be a 5K somewhat harder than this. Practice, I guess.

First, the numbers. Old PR was 27:08 set back in April 2008, after I had been running for a year. I ran that about as hard as I could. A friendly guy tried to pull me along at the end, but I had nothing more to give that day.

Today — first mile split of 8:30.01, running just a tick above easy. I wasn’t breathing hard, could have said a sentence pretty easy. Second mile of 9:17.29, had to work a bit harder, bit more uphill than down. Third mile came in at 8:29.99. Final tenth of a mile I kicked hard and closed it out in 45.21 seconds. So a total time of 27:02.5. Damn, just missed going sub 27.

The first mile was the usual 5K clutter of people who start up too close to the front. I had to weave around some people, but I also had some people pass me who I never caught up to and others who I caught up to later. Overheard a lot of “He’s got no shoes!” Guess they were talking about me, I was the only barefooter or obvious minshoe out there. I just tried to relax and enjoy myself and smile at the course volunteers. They deserve a smile for being out there and helping to keep us on course. One point during the long uphill of the second mile I saw a young volunteer with her hands tucked into her pockets. I smiled and said, “Cold hands?”

“Yeah,” she answered. “Cold feet?” she asked.

“No, they’re fine.”

On that uphill I had my first encounter with stepping on some glass. It didn’t puncture.

At the turnaround point and the water station, I heard the volunteers notice my bare feet. One yelled, “That’s hardcore!” I said, “Thank you.”

I just tried to stay relaxed during the 3rd mile and prepare myself to close strong. At around a third of a mile to go, another runner in shoes stomped by me and I thought to myself, “Ahh, there’s my prey!” I tagged onto him and followed a few yards behind and waited for the 3 mile marker. He was breathing hard, I was still breathing pretty easy.

Finally, I see 3 in chalk on the asphalt path. Time to go! I accelerate and blow by the young guy who had passed me and then began hunting down another young kid in front of me. Maybe that’s kind of terrible, but I wanted to pass people! So I did and kept trucking along until I crossed the finish mats and grinned a big shit-eating grin because I was fairly sure I had PRed. As I walked up the chute and after a volunteer collected the bib tearoff, a guy with a camera came up and said, “I’ve got to get a picture!” So I stood there with the bottle of water I had been given and he took it. It won’t be an exciting running pic, but I’m hoping maybe that a good one that was taken of me by a woman out on the course will be posted to the race results website.

There’s a lot more to say, but I want to save it for the postmortem of the goal 5K in 4 weeks time. But hey, today was a lot of fun, a good solid run and I feel pretty happy about setting a 5K PR after 8 weeks of getting back into running following a 3 year break.

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