Sunday, January 24, 2010

Winter Wonderland 5 miler

I had a good time today. About 2 days ago I decided that rather than doing mile repeats by my in-laws house in CT, I would look for a race. And there it was, about 15min away; the Winter Wonderland 5 miler. Perfect. I had no real expectations going in. I've been healthy and training consistently for about 2 weeks now, so things are beginning to gel. Given this I figured I'd set my goal to be matching my pace from the 10k in Newport in early December. That day I pulled off a 6:05 (and yacked 3 times!). Long story short: I ran 6:03 today on a much tougher course, and did not yack! I figure I left some time out there, but I doubt enough to have broken 30min.

The race was old school: no electronic timing, no aid stations, no coddling of any sort. Finishers did not get a medal. Instead we got a loaf (2 if you asked) of olive oil ciabatta bread! And soup. Looked like split pea (I passed). For the results board, there was no computer print out. Rather the pull tabs from our numbers were taped to a big piece of poster board with hand written numbers (your place and time) on it. Very nice. The first 1.5 miles were downhill, which had me ever so slightly concerned that this one was going to hurt. What goes down must go up! So I stayed very conservative and then kept what felt like a very consistent effort all day. I could have sprinted it out with a couple of guys and maybe grabbed 2 more places, but I didn't feel like hurling in the finish chute today, and that would have been a certainty. My race stats are here.

In the final assessment I didn't kill myself today. I ran hard and consistent and got out of it everything I wanted. I placed 11th overall, and 5th in my age group. Yes 5th. The old guys owned the top of the results. There were more than a few high school cross-country runners as well. Seemed like some fast Dads were running with their fast sons. Kinda cool.

Funny note: I thought I had lost my car keys just before the race, checked with the race officials and everything, but then I noticed a "lump" in the knee of my tights.