Sunday, May 31, 2009

5/30 - Astros Race for the Pennant 5k, 16:52, 9th OA, 4th AG


Time - 16:52 (Chip Time... 16:56 watch time)
Splits - 5:28, 5:27, 5:28, 0:32 (final .1)

I went into this race with a couple of things in mind. First, I had not run a 5k since February, I think, when I ran the Med Center 5k. I didn't feel good about that race, and wasn't in very good shape at the time. Second, Boston training had really taken its toll on my legs, as well as the race, so I've been slow to get back into the hard, intense training of 5k training. This was only the 2nd or 3rd week of 2 speed workouts a week. Third, I did a full week of regular training... speed work Monday, hard, leg-sapping workout on Wednesday that left me less than energetic this morning when I got up to go race.

Lastly, I needed to get myself some sort of guage to determine where I really am, speed-wise. So, all of that is what I took to the start line of this race.

As I stood at the start, seeing Geoff, John Yoder, Sean Wade, Thom King, Vaughn Gibbs, Joe Flores, Joe Oviedo and others, I had to tell myself that today wasn't about racing for was about getting back to feeling what it's like to race a 5k. Having Milo Hamilton on the announcer stage there helped...he's a pretty funny guy, and his voice is so legendary when this close to the Astros facility. That really helped me relax.

So, the horn sounded and off we went, running straight down Crawford to Elysian. I let a lot of people get out ahead of me, focusing on my plan.... run through 2 miles around 11:00, then see what I have for the final mile. So, I eased through the flat part leading to the uphill of Elysian. I didn't want to slow, so to speak going uphill, rather cruise up, so I did, and ran with a guy wearing a Hanson singlet and John Yoder. I could see Thom and Geoff ahead of me, as well as Joe Flores and Oviedo right there as well. I past mile 1 feeling like I was running too slow, but was right on my goal pace. I told myself "one more mile just like that".

The Hanson guy sorta took off in the early part of mile 2 and got up next to another guy, who I thought was too far ahead of me to worry about. I inched away from Yoder here, and as we headed down the end of Elysian to the the turn around, I let the downhill carry me some. Saw the leaders that had hit the turnaround, and focused on finishing strong. Made the turn to the handful of people at this point cheering us on. As we turned and headed back towards the steeper part of the viaduct, I could see the Hanson guy, Thom King and another guy or two that I didn't know seemed to be going up the hill I decided to really accelerate, and I went by them all pretty easily. The heat and the hilly course were taking their toll, but I was reaping the reward of going out easy.

One HS kid tried to stay ahead of me through mile 2, and he succeeded, but he faded right around there. As we approached 2, I was motivated when I could see Flores and Oviedo as well, and felt they were catchable. I worked to stay on my pace and just focus on catching them. Mile 2 was right where I wanted it to be, so I thought I'd have the ability to really pick it up to close the race, but although I stayed even, it was enough to close the gap on those ahead of me to some degree.

As we made our mile 3, the two Joe's were coming closer, and I became encouraged even more. Oviedo pulled ahead of Flores, and as we headed down off Elysian back into downtown, I was really closing. As we made one of the turns heading close to the 3 mile mark, Joe Flores heard me, he glanced over his shoulder, and then I went by him. The last thing I wanted was to get caught by someone who I passed, so I really pushed with all I had left to the finish. I thought I could catch Joe Oviedo, but was running out of race. We passed 3 miles, and I knew I wouldn't catch him, but just wanted to run hard down the hill and to the finish.

Overall, for me this was a successful race. My legs were trashed from Wednesday still, yet I muscled through the end. I ran even on a tough course, which I don't think is common to do. I nearly negative split. And, most importantly, I stuck to my race plan when that is something I don't normally do very well.

Now, back to focusing on the week's training, my Tuesday morning fartlek workout with Sean and Co., and then getting ready for the Heights run.

1 comment:

Bill Blancett said...


I really like those splits.