L'Chaim 5K 2010
In the signup area I saw a lot of the old crowd. Kind of funny to see the same people each year for this race. We were all talking about past performances. It made me think that this is how the elites must be at races. "Remember last year when you out-kicked me at the end?" At a typical NYRR race I'm well within the pack and much more anonymous. Anyway, I've just recently started adding in speed, so I didn't really expect to compete this year.
The race started at 10:30, and as I had expected, it was really hot this year. Like every year, people always take off at full speed. For the first few minutes there were about 100 people in front of me. These guys fade away within minutes.
I crossed mile 1 at 7:01. Ummmm... that's fast. I ran an 8:12 tempo mile last week and it was hard. And it was at least 10 degrees cooler. Looking at past reports I've thought the first mile was short. With a better quality GPS watch I can definitely see that it's not. Maybe it's all those people in front of me pushing me to run faster. In either case this was too fast for me. I had to slow down. I didn't think I could keep up this pace for the whole race. (Did I mention it was hot!)
I took it down a notch, though it was still tough to keep going. By this time there was only a few people in front of me that I could see. There was one guy who was staying close to me, passing me on the downhills, and falling back on the uphills. Eventually the course flattened out more, and he went up ahead. I hit mile 2 with a 7:44 pace.
The third mile I was really struggling. I didn't want to let up the pace, but it was really a struggle to hang on. I was determined to keep pushing - that's really the purpose of racing, isn't it? I was also starting to think of winning some hardware again. (Not many small races, with 5 year age groups, and 3 trophies per group!)
There was a kid in front of me for about half the race. I later found out he was 12. Obviously not my age group, but I was amazed at his endurance! I had no extra gear to catch him, but at about 2.6 miles he stopped to walk a little. (He ended up finishing 45 seconds behind me. And there were another two kids aged 11 and 12 within the next minute after that. Incredible!)
There was one other guy within reach. I ended up passing him at around 2.8 miles, but he seemed too comfortable. I knew he'd catch me in the end. And he did. At about 3 miles he went right by me. He had a little cheering squad for him yelling out that there was somone (me!) behind him and to leave me in the dust. He didn't have to worry. He only beat me by 3 seconds, but I had nothing left in the tank.
I finished mile 3 in a 7:43 pace. And though I usually finish up the last 0.1 in a fast pace, I couldn't this day.
Total time 23:20 for a 7:31 pace. Age group placing? 4th. Again. I was happy anyway. I hadn't expected to run anywhere near this fast, so it was a really good effort from me.
What's funny is that when I looked at previous reports, I also took a picture of the results. I hadn't remembered doing that, but it was there in the blog. This year I didn't bring a camera, but my blackberry has a pretty good camera. Comparing the results, you can see the same people up there on the list. Most of the people are remarkably consistent. (I guess if I hadn't gained 25 pounds after the last race my time would look more similar to the previous effort. I'm 15 pounds down, and working my way towards the next 10!)
Here's my pace during the race. I definitely started too fast, but I'm happy with my effort to maintain the pace for the rest of the race. It wasn't easy, and half the battle was mental toughness.
I've been thinking of running a race on Father's Day next. It's the tenth anniversary of the first race I ever ran, and so I had sentimental reasons to run it. The downside is that it kills my long run for the weekend. Since I don't run on Saturday, I've only got the one day to run long. There's really no reason for me to run a 5M race in 3 weeks, other than the sentimental one. I'm now leaning against it. Price goes up June 5th so I'll decide soon.
Finally, since I'm not going to run today, I'll summarize May. 87.55 miles, up from 71.98 in April. (Which is up from 30 in March, and 2 in February!)