Ran today's 5K to baseline my current fitness to see where I'm starting from in my "beat my brother's 5K PR" quest. Since I tied by 5K PR, I guess its not nearly as bad as I'd feared. My other goal was to increase my ability to suffer, which meant I'd go out hard to make sure I wasn't sandbagging and hang on as best I could.
Cloudy with some sun-break's this morning, along with some transient rain showers. The first shower caught me in my warmup, so I was wet to start things off. That didn't matter much, since the shower continued until about 1/2 mile into the race. Went out fast with the leaders (mostly HS kids) and settled into 4th place. The first 2 runners were right on top of one another and I was trailing another kid a short distance back, holding off another a few steps behind me. Felt pretty good, moved into 3rd about 1/2 mile in, coming through the first mile in 5:43.
Mile 2 began the suffer-fest in earnest. I avoided looking at my watch and just concentrated on making sure I felt like complete garbage. Oh, how I wanted to just walk for a few seconds. My mind kept lobbying for a break but I managed to keep that at bay by thinking of how this would help me in my quest to beat my brother. The trail was leaf covered again this year (ran the 10K last year) but I didn't notice any real slippage or anything. Actually, I didn't notice much except how badly I wanted to be done. Hit the turnaround and tried to keep the pace up. Snuck a look at my watch and saw my pace had dropped off into the low 6 range. Missed the 2 mile marker, not because it wasn't there but because I was hurting pretty badly and could only focus on breathing, running, and suffering. 2nd mile in 6:05.
The last mile was in two parts.....the first half was just trying to keep up the effort and get myself to the 2nd half. Once I was halfway through, I tried pushing with whatever I had left, which felt like nothing. Evidently it was a bit of something because I came thru mile 3 in 6:02. The last stretch to the finish was in 41 seconds (0.14 mile) so a bit of a speedup to the end. 3rd place, 1st in my AG and another 18:31, my 5K PR from Jan 1.
So my takeaways. Mostly flat course, one 180 turn and only a few other turns, so no real course issues to deal with. Some rain to start, sun to finish, but nice temps and no real weather problems. Equaled my PR on inconsistent training over the last few weeks and months and very little speedwork outside of hill sprints and shorter (<= 3 minute) Fartleks. Got much higher on the 5K suffering scale today than I have since Aug 08. Now I need to go work at shaving off at least 29 seconds (and preferably more) over the next couple of months.
2 mile warmup in 14:36, 7:18, HR 157, w/ 0.5 mile threshold effort, 3.1 mile race in 18:31, 5:58/mi, HR 177, 2 mile cooldown in 15:20, 7:40, HR 150.