I woke and my legs felt fine, my head was clear. I decided to run, which hadn't been a sure thing. I really wanted to break 20 minutes today. It was my third 5K and, third time's a charm. That's how goals should be, a bit beyond reasonable.
Mile two I planned on running a bit faster, around 6:25. I ran it in 7:01, yikes. I knew, because of my garmin, that I was going too slow, but was dying to maintain that pace. Ugh.
Something weird happened on mile two, I learned something about myself: I want to win.
There were two people in front of me and I didn't care, I was trying to race against my plan. Somewhere in the middle of mile two it became apparent I wasn't going to be able to execute the plan. Around that time those two in front slowed. I caught them. I ran behind the lead runner for a while thinking if I should race him, follow and conserve energy, or pass and try to catch up to my planned speed.
I decided to try to stick to the plan. I passed him and ran alone for the next three-quarters of a mile. Of course on mile three, which I had hoped to run fastest, I was dead. I ran it in 7:21. That's almost my half marathon pace! I was dogging it a bit. Don't get me wrong, I was tired and pushing hard, but my motivation was waning. I was coughing up nasty stuff and laboring. I was a full minute behind my goal and the guy a passed and someone else were about to pass me.
Anyhow, I finished 3rd over all, first in my age group. My wife and father were there to support me, which is always awesome. After the race we met one of my daughter's elementary school teachers, one I really like. I won a free car wash in the raffle and a first place medallion.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not distraught or upset. I just wanted a different outcome. Nothing I can do about it now except to accept this and learn and improve. On a perfect day, in my current condition I don't think I could break 20 on this course (click here for the garmin report, check out the player tab especially).
But here's what I learned.
1. By looking at some pictures, I heel strike when tired if I'm wearing shoes. (I usually wear toe shoes, you don't heel strike in those!)
2. I don't think I started out too fast, but the second mile is where I lost it. I should've listened to the my body instead of the watch, I would've had a faster time. I think I might've won the race.
All said, even with the disappointment, I had a great time and am so loving my new life-style.