Today’s run: 5K (race) at 8:41 per mile
Sometimes you do everything right and things still don’t go quite the way you’d hoped – no 5K PR today. All the same, I ran the Marcie Mazzola Foundation 5K at a decent clip and had a far better experience with the hills than I did last year. Compared to 2009, I did a little better in terms of pace (8:41 vs. 8:50) but the shorter length gave me an advantage there. In terms of other 5Ks, I ran my slowest one today (prior 5K’s were at 8:28 and 8:19 respectively). Some of that can be explained by the fact that the large crowd (600 starters) was squeezed into a fairly narrow starting area and being that far back probably cost me 20 seconds overall. I can’t use that as an excuse because most races have that issue. I can blame myself for a slow start though. Knowing that the big hill would be coming quickly after the gun, I maintained a fairly modest pace for the first quarter mile and held that pace until I crested the hill. My first mile split was “officially” 9:29 (9:09 really, because I started recording with the Garmin when I reached the starting line, not at the gun). I picked up speed after the hill and did my second mile at 8:21 and my third at 8:28. Along the way the FR60 was chirping constantly telling me that I was behind my target pace or that my pace was in range. It also chirped at the mile splits. It was all helpful but a little noisy!
The race itself went by quickly and before I knew it we were crossing Main Street and running around Heckscher Park on our way to the end. The routing was a little different than last year but the final hill remained. I didn’t love seeing it but I knew I could handle it and still have the energy to finish strong. The finish line was located perpendicular to last year’s and the final approach was downhill. I crossed the line at 26:55, happy to see my wife and kids clapping and cheering. It was my eighth race in less than one year (Marcie Mazzola was held on April 19th last year) and my third 5K. I felt like a ran a pretty good race, ending up in the top quarter of registrants and the top third of finishers. However, I didn’t place in my age division. I ran into a neighbor who also ran today. He’s getting back into running after many years away and he beat 30 minutes which was his goal.
The temperature was in the high 40’s and I dressed appropriately, keeping sweats and a warm-up jacket on until close to the start. I’m thinking that my next race will be the LI Marathon 10K that happens in early May. There are a number of other local races happening in April, May and June so I’ll consider those as well before I commit. It was a pretty good way to spend a sunny spring Sunday morning with my family and a good workout after two days of rest.