Wednesday, December 31, 2008
windy 5k, decent time
The graph tells the story. The race started at 4 pm at the "dip" :) It was only 25 mph gusting to 38 mph at that point. Wunderground said the wind was from the northwest although it felt more like the northeast to me (maybe the terrain affected it?) Add the wind to that a pretty tough course and I decided that I would be incredibly thrilled with breaking 20 if I could manage it. Well, I didn't.
They changed the course from last year (and re-certified it). One nice feature is that it is no longer a double loop, which means you don't have to negotiate walkers). I had hoped it meant half the elevation gain, but that wasn't quite the case.
Mile 1 starts on a downhill with a tailwind, but quickly turns to a climb mostly into the wind. My split was 6:33 (180 bpm) average, the next mile was mostly downhill and a net tailwind and I split 6:26 (188 bpm). I felt like I took a bit of a nap there. I usually hit 190-191 bpm on the second mile. Still I was only 7 seconds off 20:00 pace at mile 2. I knew it would take a miracle though since would be turning uphill and into the wind. I picked up the intensity, but the 3rd mile was 6:34 (191 bpm). I ran an even pace and didn't get passed by anyone. Still there were two guys 10-20m ahead I was constantly trying to close the gap on (and draft off of), but never could quite do it. Everybody else went out too fast and I went by them. One guy looked like he was really hurting when I passed him just short of the last right that leads to a downhill finish. I sprinted on the downhill and he sprinted right with me! I put a little extra kick in to hold him off and finished (by my watch) in 20:12.
It's really hard to say what my fitness is based on this race given the conditions. I talked to several of the usual age group faces that I see at races. One guy said he was 40-45 secs slower than his usual time. Another said he was about 30 seconds slower than his last race. A 19-flat runner I know finished over 19:40, so 30+ seconds doesn't seem crazy. I finished in 19:44 (by my watch) at the 5k in May, so I think I'm in decent shape. I'm also about 5 pounds heavier. If I ditch that, I think I'll post some good times soon.