Training Widget

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Camp Holiday Trails 5K

I woke up plenty early for the 5K this morning only to be greeted by 22F on the thermometer. Brrr. But, I put on plenty of layers and drove into Charlottesville ready for my second 5K of the year. Other than the chilly temps, it was a perfect morning for running - sunny skies and no wind.

When I got to the race, I found out that there would be a minor last minute course change - apparently UVA was doing some construction on the main road through grounds and there was a huge crane parked right in the middle of the road. Not a big deal really, but it did mean that we would now have to run several sets of steps as we maneuvered around the crane. The other problem this presented was that now the course was not measured and there would be no mile splits. That meant I would be running the entire race on feel and hoping I was on pace. Not ideal, but hey, it could be worse.

I intentionally held back a little bit the first half mile. I've found that it is much more encouraging to be passing people through the race than to be getting passed when you go out too fast. The plan worked pretty good as I steadily picked up places for the first two to two and half miles. After that, things had pretty much settled out and I remained in 9th place for the rest of the race, a good 30 seconds out of 8th and probably even more than that ahead of 10th. The finish of the race was pretty tough as you have to climb 20-30 feet of elevation in the last 100 yards and it didn't help that a car pulled right out in front of me and stopped on the path as I was trying to make it up the hill. But what's a couple of seconds anyway right?

When I initially crossed the line, I was disappointed to see that I had failed to break 21 minutes (21:18). I figured it must have been all the twist and turns and stairs that we had to run to get around the crane. But a few minutes later, a friend with a Garmin let me know that the course was actually 3.33 miles. Now, my time makes more sense. At 3.3 miles, 21:18 puts me at 6:27 pace, which would have been a solid 20:00 5K - cool. Way better than the 22:10 I ran on January 1.

When they announced the age group awards, I was happy to hear that I had finished first in the 30-39 age group - I will enjoy my free burrito and water bottle from Ragged Mountain Running Shop.

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