That RunTex article I regurgitated in my last post isn’t very clear. I finished second in 17:22, 40 seconds behind the winner who ran 16:42. He ran 16:02 in a different race on Saturday in Houston. On one thing the article is clear. I don’t have leg speed.
Going into the race I thought I’d have a chance to win based on previous years times. But I had read Wish’s column last week about some Kenyan who just moved to town, and when I saw this dude at the start line, I knew it was him and that my chances of winning were nil. It was actually kind of a relief and I figured I could have fun trying to chase him.
So I warmed up with a somewhat hard loop of the course then ran the 1K with my kids (they both did awesome). At the start the Kenyan, some guy whom I assume was the Facebook friend, and a few other guys sprinted out hard and I let them go a little bit, but I felt strong and liked my chances. Funny that within 25 meters I know how the race will go. That said, the winner was already about 20 meters ahead of me after the first 200 meters. A couple of the other guys in front looked like high school kids. One had a mohawk. Those guys always sprint out too hard and die quickly. Sure enough, I passed one, then another 1/2 mile in and was in 5th or so. Legs a little tired, steady breathing, overall working hard but feeling strong.
By the one mile mark I passed a couple more including Facebook friend and was trailing only the Kenyan (by about 10 seconds) and the eventual #3. I pass eventual #3 at about 1.5 miles, and at that point the leader was probably 20 seconds ahead. I kept him in sight the whole way but he slowly added to his lead. I thought #3 was right behind me most of the run but dared not look back. On the final turn I took a peek but didn’t see him (he finished 30 seconds back). I did see my wife jumping up and down. ;) I did another loop of the course for a cool down, then ate some birthday cake (remember the “social 5k”?).
(Full results here. An aside: Does anybody else dislike the mychiptime.com website and results? I much prefer the active.com site and results.)
Not the easiest of courses … first mile rolling mostly up hill, second mile into a stiff wind, the “big downhill” at the finish is only a couple hundred meters at about 2.75 miles. My splits were 5:37, 5:44, 5:26, :34. Kinda slow last .1 finish. 17:22 is five seconds slower than my 5K PR set last year. But that PR wasn’t set on mile 75 of the week either.
Later that afternoon, thinking about the race, the phrase “full of sound and fury; signifying nothing” kept coming to mind. At this point, I could go into yet another boring examination of the motivation and utility of running and racing, but I’ll spare you.
Later that night, I went for a recuperative four-mile trail run, though I admit partly it was just so I could hit an 80 mile week for the first time ever.
After three hard weeks and four tough days in a row, I’m taking today off. Tomorrow begins the push for the summit.