Greenville News Run Downtown 5k #4
I really wish that I had gone ahead and run this race last year. It’s one of the first races I started running regularly when I first started running. That being said, it’s still one of my favorites, a large race in chilly weather. Can’t get any better than that.
Ideally I would have loved to go for a PR here. Two of my previous 5k PRs have been snagged here. (That’s part of there reason that I didn’t run last year. I was no where near PR shape and didn’t want to “just run” this particular race.) Since I’m in the middle of a dedicated training cycle for a hopeful BQ marathon, short distance speedwork is not a priority.
On today’s agenda: 20 minute warm up, 5k at 85% effort, 90-100 minutes afterwards to finish up the long run.
When I first started the warm up I was not in the running mood. In fact, I was a bit out of sorts. As the minutes ticked by I settled into the groove and started to get excited about the race. I also did a little 2015 race planning. Another Red, White and Blue Shoes 5k PR? Why not?
With just a few minutes to spare Mom and I headed to the start. (Originally she wasn’t going to run the race, just run with me afterwards. Then she got suckered into it at packet pick up. What can I say? The running bug has bit her hard! :))
I wanted to run hard and see if I could beat my previous course record.
At 9:00AM we were off. I settled into a comfortably hard pace right from the start. Since I tried to start as close to the line as I could, I had only a few seconds of jostling and crowd congestion to deal with. (Mom had a bit more.)
Unlike 2013, I hardly looked at my Garmin to check the pace. I wanted to do my best to run at an 85% effort but honestly, I’m not really sure how to do that.
I hit mile 1 at 7:31. Not bad. According to some rough mental calculations, if I continued at that pace I would come in right at my course record time. I wanted to beat it though and the idea of negative splits is eminently appealing.
I kept plugging away and honestly don’t remember much about mile 2 except for the amazing race-walker that I kept passing and getting passed by. Incredibly talent.
Mile 2 came in at 7:18. Immediately I knew that I wanted to negative split the race and wondered if I could with the Richardson Street hill yet to come.
At about mile 2.5 the hill started. I ignored my Garmin and focused on shortening my stride and increasing my arm swing. I would not let that hill defeat me. It’s not a steep hill; it’s just long. After three city blocks of it, you start to wonder if it’s ever going to end. I felt perfectly fine through the first half of the hill but with a block or two to go I could really start to feel it.
Then came the turn. It felt so good to get off that hill and after a block turn onto Main Street and the downhill. It was at that point that I poured on a sprint. I may not be able to judge what 85% effort for me is but at that point it was pretty much 100%.
That last section down Main Street is deceptively long. I had to keep reminding myself. My Garmin hit 20:00 just as I made the final turn. I immediately wondered if I had enough time to cross that finish line in less than a minute. Not quite. But close!
Even when I wanted to back off I kept pushing. I knew I wouldn’t make sub 22 but crossed the finish line in 22:24, seven seconds faster than two years ago.
That may not seem like much but two years ago I was wiped after the race. I put everything out there. This was approximately 85% with no short speedwork under my belt.
Oh…check out these negative splits too!
That’s right. Sub 7 minute mile including the Richardson Street hill!
Right after finding a spot by the finish line to look for Mom’s finish I pulled out my phone and started looking at my blog to see where this stacked in comparison to the 5ks I ran in November and December. Right smack in between them. (Turkey Bowl-22:26, Jingle Bell-22:21.) I’m nothing if not consistent apparently. I had a thought that I should probably open the camera app because Mom would be finishing soon. Then she came and I totally missed her! Whoops.
The day wasn’t quite done after that. I still had 90-100 minutes on the plan. I got them done but they weren’t pretty, at least they didn’t feel pretty. My pace was pretty respectable but my legs and body in general didn’t feel all that pretty. I still got it done though and am more than happy with both my 5k result and getting in 9.5+ miles afterwards.
Oh…official results for the 5k
Official time: 22:19 (new second fastest 5k time, again)
Overall place: 153 of 1417
Gender place: 25 of 654
Age group place: 8 of 98
Official time: 25:53
Overall place: 399 of 1417
Gender place: 87 of 654
Age group place: 2 of 43 (she placed and she wasn’t even running hard!)