Race day was unseasonably warm, in the low 60's. It honestly felt hot to me. On my warm-up my legs felt a little flat, but I was still confident I could win, not so confident about the fast time. At the start of the race I went out pretty hard like I always do and separated myself from the field. I like to go out hard because the first 3 miles are the fastest part of the course, besides the finish on the road. I try to get some time in the bank, before the technical and hilly sections hit. The trick is to go fast, but not get in debt. After about 12minutes of racing I felt like I was going really slow and my legs did not feel responsive. Last year I felt powerful and snappy the whole race and knew I was running a fast time (pr 45:03). I was disgusted with myself. I shut off my watch and decided to just try and push on and get the 5th "W". Coming onto Buckeye Brook Rd., I glanced behind me and couldn't see the 2nd place runner so I figured I had it in the bag unless I really faded. I felt slow and hot the rest of the way. I even splashed water on my face which was a first for this race for me. I hit the final road section and felt like I wasn't going very fast. Last year, I really was hammering here. This year I was surviving. A dog came out after me on Prosser Trail Rd. and I stopped for a few seconds to scream at it. That gave me a short lived adrenaline rush. I turned into the finishing parking lot, thinking I was going to run in the 47 minutes. I felt that awful. I was shocked to see the clock at 45:30 as I kicked into the chute. I got 1st place in 45:36 and picked up my 5th win. I was satisfied with the win, but honestly it was pretty ugly. I was pleasantly surprised to be in the 45's with my 3rd fastest time. It was great having my nephew, niece, sister in-law, and mother at the finish cheering for me. Now came the fun part, watching my friends and family finish and then enjoying some chromium replacement at Jonny's house.
Next race, Thanksgiving Day, the Pie and Glove 5K in Corning, NY. Jen, her sister Katie, and I went to this race. Last year, I ran my 5K p.r. in 15:37 with snow and wind. It's a flat course with lot's of twists and turns to keep it exciting. There are two 180 degree turns which really slow you down, but the course is fast everywhere else. The weather was gorgeous, 40 degrees and sunny at the start. There were some seriously fast looking dudes on the starting line with 1500 other people behind us. We went out fast in a pack of about 10 people, with me sitting at the back. At the mile (4:53), I made my move into 2nd place. The leader made his move at this time too and had a 3 0r 4 second gap on me. I never closed it, in fact he put a few more seconds on me as we both ran in no mans land into a slight head wind, up a very very slight uphill into the 2nd mile(5:16). The final 1.1 mile was uneventful with me making no ground on the leader and nobody closing on me. The winner hit the line in 15:33 and I came in 2nd in 15:40(5:03 pace) My last mile was under 5min, but it was a fairly mediocre effort. I went out the night before and ate way too much spicy, greasy food, washed down with some heavy beverages. I just wasn't as sharp as I should have been on race day. The result a missed p.r. by 3 seconds and a chance to win. Oh well. I have to say, I'm fit. If two unimpressive races net me two pretty fast times, I need to be excited at where my fitness levels are at going into the winter indoor and snowshoe seasons. The races were fun, but the best part is spending time with family and getting out there and being active and celebrating fitness and health.