Striders 5k. Not sure what to expect at this race, but I was excited. Race temp was somewhere between 15-20 deg F, with a slight breeze that put the wind chill in single digits or low teens. Drove with Cody and ran the course for warm up. Looked like a great course- very hilly, which plays to my strengths. Met Chad and Andy at the start, as well as Walter. Only other fast runner I knew was Tim Wight. Not as many runners as last year.
Started off at a good pace, with the first mile in 5:59. Probably slower than it should have been. There was a group of 6 of us at the one mile mark, though we were spread out over about 10-20 meters. I didn't push it much up the uphill- decent pace, but not borderline anaerobic or anything like that. Hit the top of the hills at mile 1.5 in 6th place, then came the downhill. I quicly picked up the pace and found myself running in 1st place, though I still didn't feel like I was working too hard. There was another good hill up to mile 2. It was the first time I felt like I was actually in a race and moving at a decent pace, though Chad passed me around here. Mile 2 was 6:00 even. Then there was another downhill, flat, gradual down, then gradual up. At this point, Ben (the eventual winner) went flying by Chad and myself, getting a 10 m lead in just a few seconds. Chad caught him and I was about 5 -10 meters back. I almost caught them on the last downhill, then we turned a corner and had a gradual up followed by a steady uphill to the finish. Mile 3 was 5:24 but felt pretty good. I started a kick with .1 mile to go and caught Chad, but then he started his kick and left me in his dust. Ben came in first, then Chad, then me, with Cody a few seconds behind.
Overall, I am very happy with the results of the race. I felt great and could probably take off 15-30 seconds if I were to race it again tomorrow. It was my first race under 9 miles in years, so I underestimated the pace I could have held. I didn't push hard at all on the uphill and only pushed a bit on the downhills. I plan to have a faster pace at the 10k. It gets me excited for this whole race season. Plus, I don't really feel like I am in shape but I am almost exactly 1 minute over my PR on a course that everyone agrees is 1 minute slower than a flat 5k. I don't have plans to do another 5k this year, but I imagine I could set a PR pretty easily if I wanted.
Congrats to bloggers- places 2-4, plus Andy just behind! Good job to all!