April 28, 2013

Leading the Pack (Vienna 5k)

Had an interesting experience today, led the Vienna Elementary 5k for the first half of the race and finally got the chance to chase the pace bikes.

Since I can see the starting line from my house, I figured I had to run this race. I ran the course with a little preview jog a couple days prior. The out-and-back course started with a short hill and followed with a mile-long downhill stretch, ending with a steep bump before the turnaround. So obviously the return trip features the reverse, a couple rollers and a mile-long uphill climb.

Even though I'm not on point with my 5k preparation this spring, I decided to give it a shot this morning and came off the line trying to build some time to carry into the descent. I was out in front at the first turn and rolled over the first hill in the lead. I could hear footsteps behind me, so I knew there was competition close at hand. I never turned around through the descent, but could tell there was someone close behind me and they were definitely not fading. As I approached the turnaround behind the pace bikes, the footsteps behind me were closer, and I could tell he had a bit more in the tank than I did.

I was passed just after the turn and though I held close for a bit, I just didn't have the legs for the hills today. Seeing at the turn that I was in 2nd overall easily, and wasn't going to cede placing to the next competitor without a major breakdown, I took it a bit easier on the uphill. After the MCM 17.75K, I wanted to make sure I didn't blow up on the hill, so I saved some reserve and cruised in an easy gear for a while, watching the bikes and first place disappear up the road ahead.

I came across in 2nd overall, a great finish, but no PR and honestly, my time wasn't much to write home about; I kind of sheepishly accepted the placing.

The Results

5k :   18:51  |  6:04/mile  (2nd place overall; 1st place age group)

Wearing her "fast socks" in a show of support.