Race: New Year's 5K, Free Union, VA.
Executive summary: Pretty solid race -- 20:49, 5th AG (45-49), and 29/367 overall.
Back at the beginning of December I blasted through the Charlottesville Men's 4 Miler in 26:35. I felt primed for an attempt on a sub-20 5K at this race. It's a simple out and back, following almost exactly the same route as the 4-miler. We lined up for the start in pretty good conditions. Sunny, temperature in the 30s and rising, and a little bit of a head wind on the outward leg.
I settled in pushed the pace a bit early, maintaining contact with the faster guys longer than I usually do. The first mile split was a very speedy (for me) 6:18, but I felt good and hung tough. The second mile started to kick in a few easy rollers, but I was still feeling pretty solid. As the leaders started coming back past me, I counted positions and found myself in 25th (!) at the turn around. A glance at my watch showed me at a little under 10 minutes for the 1/2-way point. So far so good.
Mile two passed -- 6:46. I'd definitely slowed, but I wasn't in distress.Still, the smarter runners who'd held back a bit were starting to reel me in, and I had no extra gear to shift into. By mile 2.5 it was time to hang on.
And I did -- I managed to find a little bit extra for the final stretch, but the clock didn't lie -- 20:49. No doubt about it, my overly ambitious starting pace hurt my overall effort. Still, not a bad way to start the year, with a sub 21 race at 6:42 pace. Onward to Myrtle Beach, with a valuable lesson learned.