I went with T6 flats for the race because my spikes and I didn't click immediately at Wednesday's workout. I decided to go with the sure thing, despite maybe losing a few seconds. 18 runners in my heat, mostly collegians, and a few club runners, including Wiggy and Billy Askey of GRC, who I decided to try and hang on to (Billy was going for 15:30). My goal for the day of course was sub-16, but my 2010 goal was 15:45... that would be attained if all goes well and I paced myself perfectly. Race started... 77 for the first 400, right on track. But then Wiggy and the lead pack sped up and pulled the rest of us in at 72. Better slow slow down! My group of 5-6 runners did slow down to 75 seconds.... and it stayed that way for nearly 8 laps! Nothing too exciting to report, plenty of passing and getting passed and re-passing and getting re-passed.
With 800m to go, I was getting tired, as Jake warned. I expected this though and welcomed the pain/fatigue, knowing that it meant I had less than half a mile to go. That's not much! My split improved slightly to 74... 600m to go. I was tired and couldn't pick up the pace much, so I just focused on maintaining. I got blasted by on the last 100 by a couple collegians vying for placement, and I focused on keeping stride. Crossed the finish in 15:44! 34 second PR!
I fell to my knees and punched the track with a feeling of victory. I finally did what I had set out to do since I started running again in 2008. I gave it all I had, and was proud of my effort.
A shout out to Michelle, who PR'ed by about 20 something seconds with a 17:42 in the girls' heat. Not quite her epic day goal, but she ran well and gave it her best, and that's what matters most. She showed her coaches and teammates that she's ready for sub 17:30 in the next flat 5K. A special day for FURIOUS CHILL!
I can now fulfill my promise to myself... no more running races until after triathlon season #1 is over in June. It's time to dedicate myself to training hard for Du Nats and Columbia. Bring it!