If someone had asked me early this week if I would run a 5k this afternoon, I would have told firmly no way. However, as the week continued to progress, I started to lean toward racing. With the Turkey Trot 8k looming next week, I thought that I needed to shock the system with a fast race.
Since Mike lives near the finish, we decided to meet and warm up by running to the starting line of the Santa Scramble race.
One of the best warm up that I have had in a while. Mike gave me a nice tour of the Concord Greenway.
When I was picking up my packet, I saw Milton, a fast Master's runner from Salisbury area. Milton won the race last year.
Mike and I arrived about 20 minutes before the race started so there was a little standing around waiting for the race to get underway.
Close 500+ people turned out this weekend for the race. The race director should give a big thanks to Theoden for this posting. I suspect it helped the numbers.
In addition there was a huge number of high school runners entered.
We got the countdown and then everyone exploded off the starting line. I had the strange feeling that I was standing in cement. People were flying by me on both sides. Definitely, the start of this 5k was much more difficult than the start of OBX marathon last Sunday.
During the first ¼ mile, I started looking around for Milton and eventually, spotted him about 40 meters in front of me.
The thought suddenly crossed my mind "this is going to hurt". For the next mile, I lost track of Mike and focused on trying to catch Milton.
About ½ mile in my legs started to really kick it in and feel better. I started working from one runner to the next. Using the leap frog method, this makes the job of closing the gap on Milton a little easier.
Around the time that I had it down to about 5 meters, I could see Milton was throwing in a surge. I couldn't let him get away at this point. With one more big push, I closed the final few meters between us.
I came through the first mile in 5:14 and was certain the wheels were going to fly off. But once I closed the gap, I started focusing on relaxing and trying to catch my breath.
Just ahead, we had a right turn, a short straight section and then a left turn. I slipped past Milton and after the next few turns a made a push on the next downhill.
The 2nd mile I covered in 5:33. If I remember correct, they called 10:28 at 2 miles.
After got off the parade route, we hit the final downhill of the course and I made one final big push. I didn't know how far Milton was behind and I didn't want to give up anything to him.
We hit the final climb to the finish. My legs were starting to wobble.
My final mile was 5:23 and I covered the last tenth in 29 seconds for a 16:41. According to my Garmin, I ran exactly 3.1 miles and no extra. This is just the way that I like it.
I have to give a quick shout out to Mike. He ran a PR 16:04 if I remember his time correctly and won the race.
Mike and I did a cool down run with some other CRC members. They were hilarious. I enjoy hearing other people tell their stories.
At the awards, they have out these huge Santa Trophies. My trophy must be 18 inches tall. It is setting my desk right now.
So now, this race is in the books and it is time to turn my attention to the Turkey Trot 8k. For the first time this year, Steve Spada and I will hook up in a race. I am not taking him lightly. Steve is in great shape. He an extra week of recovery on me and has been doing some really great workouts according to his running log. My goal for Turkey Trot 8k is to just keep Steve in sight for at least ½ of this race. I think he is going to take home the Turkey Trophy this year.
Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner