Stepping to the starting line, a nice thick layer of perspiration covered my skin. I wasn’t expecting much based on my recent training and the heat. Thus, I definitely checked my expectations at the door.
During the first mile, I moved slowly up to 4th place over all. My only real goal was to win my age group if possible. Then, the racers ahead of just seemed to slow down. Shortly, after the mile, I moved in 3rd place. Before the turn around, I moved up to 2nd place. Then, after the turn around I passed the leader. Between the heat and his fast first mile, I suspect his legs felt quite heavy.
Having raced this race before, I knew exactly what to expect. The 2nd mile is fairly flat but the 3rd mile is truly grueling. The course climbs and climbs. A set of switch backs come next, and when it feels like it is over, the course hits the main road and goes up hill again. For a 5k, this one is absolutely cruelty on runners.
I looked over the edge of the switch back to see if the second place runner was in sight. Nothing caught my eye.
Confident the race was going my way. There was nothing left to do but focus on getting to the finish. Rounding the final two corners, I headed for the finish line. There was nearly a minute before the next runner arrived.
My effort was solid for me again given the conditions and my training. I ran 18:18. My first mile was 5:27, 5:48, and 6:36. Best of all, I got a much unexpected “W”.
Now, my attention turns to the “Beat the Heat” 5k later this month. I expressly ran this 5k because it very much parallels the start time and weather conditions for the “Beat the Heat” 5k. Let's hope if gives me an edge.
Best of luck with your training,
The Cool Down Runner