Hail my running brothers and sisters! Yesterday was the 7th Annual Fenton Payne and Fred 5K in Murfreesboro, TN. I signed up for this race, because it's a flat course that lends itself to some fast times. My buddy Matt was also running it, so these were my excuses for running this one at the start of marathon training. This year they changed the course so that there were fewer turns thereby making a PR a strong possibility. Knowing my race schedule for the rest of the year, this is probably the last 5K that I will run to get my annual goal of 21:10, 6:50/mi. My marathon training to this point led me to believe that I could probably get a fast time and possibly a PR, but I wasn't sure that I could maintain a 6:50/mi pace. In hindsight, I probably should have kept my damn mouth shut.
The race is big for a local race, almost 900 finishers, so I tried to scoot up to the front to avoid the crowding in the back. The pace started out fast, and when I realized how fast (5:50/mi), I backed off to save my legs. I did mile 1 in 6:37. Mile 2, I was following a runner in front of me, and then I realized that she was slowing down. I surged past her, but I think by that point the damage was done. I did mile 2 in 6:57. Mile 3 was an exercise in holding on. I tried drafting another runner, but I could never close the gap. Mile 3 was done in 6:48. The last .1 mile I emptied the tank and finished in 1 minute even.
Here's a picture of me near the finish line. Like I said, it was clearly an exercise in holding on (Why are race photo's always horrible?)
I ended up finishing 3rd in my age group with a PR of 21:22, 6:54/mi. Of course in my head, it's still a mixed bag, since I didn't get my annual goal. My wife tells me that this is because I'm mentally deficient. Later kids!