I spent New Year’s Eve a little differently than most today. While the average person was looking forward to an evening filled with friends, family, and festivities, I was anxiously awaiting for 3:30 pm to arrive. Why 3:30? Well, that was the time that the Main Street Crit Open 5k was to go off, thus marking the beginning of 15-20 minutes of unadulterated pain.
Despite having already done a number of races this year containing 5 or 10k runs, this was different. This race was a flat, fast, no excuses, how fast can I really go 5k. There is no swimming, biking, or flailing around before hand to blame a slower time on. At least I could blame prior workouts to…wait, I was actually well rested and ready to go thanks to my new coach Dr Rick Kattouf. Like I said, no excuses.
After sitting around most of my day off, Rebekah and I headed down to the Mast General Store on Main Street for packet pickup. After a very quick pickup process, we scoped out the course which ran two city blocks which had one lane blocked off for the race. We were told each loop was 0.54 miles with just under 6 loops for the race. After finding a nice café for Rebekah to grab some food, I started warming up and making sure everything was in working order. After what seemed like forever, the National Anthem was sung, they walked us up to the starting line and I took my place front and center.
A few minutes later, the race began and everyone took off. About 8 people jumped straight out while I tried to keep the reins and not get too excited. By the time we hit the second turn some of the younger guys started to fade and I just tried to not get too eager in the first mile. Everything felt great and although my HR was a little high, the effort was low and I was feeling confident. After finishing the first mile and moving into 3rd place, I saw my mile split of 5:12. I was shocked to be running so well and disappointed because I was sure that my goal of negative splits had just vanished. The rest of the race was pretty uneventful as the top 2 guys stayed about 30 seconds ahead while I never noticed anyone from behind. Not to worry though as there were plenty of people around to weave through as we started hitting runners on earlier laps.
The final 2 miles stayed at a consistent 5:30min/mile pace with much more suffering before the finishing kick to put the cherry on the suffer cake. With an official time of 16:41 I was pretty happy and blew any previous open 5k times out of the water.
After the open 5k, an Elite 8k was held for an $8,000 prize purse with some scary fast guys and girls. To put it in perspective, just to qualify for this race you had to have gone under 15:45 for a 5k in the past 2 years. Scary fast. Needless to say these athletes were inspiring to watch and dream about one day joining them.
Thanks for reading and I hope to keep updated on a regular basis! Get out there and pursue your goals for 2015. You know I will be!