Race Report - Deer Run 5K
by on Sunday, May 1, 2016  (6 comments)

I like to be pretty early to my races so when I was leaving 15 minutes behind schedule I was a bit anxious but I still had plenty of time. I arrived on-site and walked to check in and pick up my race packet. I asked if Ryan Hill had checked in yet and they stated that he had. I went back to my car to pin on the race bib and noticed only two pins in the packet. Its a good thing I always have at least eight pins in my car at all times. After pinning on my race bib I went to find Ryan. I knew where he liked to park at this race so I headed over there and sure enough he was there.

We talked a bit about life in general then prepared for a warm-up. I mentioned that based on some of my workout paces I thought if everything went perfect I could maybe pull-off a 5:50 pace. The warm up was easy paced and just about 1.4 miles. We did some light stretching and then I did some strides trying to zero in on what 10.2 MPH felt like.

As the start of the race drew near we all lined up. At the gun a large group of individuals took off pretty hard. I stayed with them letting Ryan and a few others start to pull away. At about the 1/4 mile mark I checked the Garmin and we were at nearly 11 MPH - way ahead of my pace. I thought "crap I am going to finish a whole lot worse than 4th or 5th place." I slowed a bit trying to zero in on my 10.2 MPH. Part of the group was pulling away but as we neared the 3/4 mile point a big part of them faded hard and I easily caught and passed them. I could still see Ryan and the other leaders even though it was a course with lots of turns. I settled in with the chase group and tried to find my stride. At about the 1 mile mark it felt a bit slow so I checked my Garmin and we were at 9.7 MPH - way to slow.

I started to slide to the side to pass the group but a guy slid over in front of me each time I tried. Since we had picked up the pace a bit to 10 MPH I though I would tuck in very close behind him literally on his heals to where I had to match his cadence and stride or I would hit his feet. I knew he would get sick of that eventually and by 1.25 miles he let me go and I pushed it and left them all in my dust.

As we neared 1.75 miles I knew I would now have to do a gut check - I felt like I was at my fastest 5K race ever and was thinking about how I would hold on to this pace. At about 2.25 miles I stared to look ahead and see if I could catch the guy in front of me. He seemed pretty out of reach he had what I tried to count as about a 40 second lead on me. I looked back and saw that I had a pretty large lead on anyone else. I was in no-man's land. I hate being in this position. No real chance of passing the guy in front of me and a nearly impossible lead to lose a position from the guy behind me.

I had nothing to push me except my determination to go after a PR - my Garmin is set up a bit different as it a a newer one to me and I didn't know what my overall time was at this point. So I didn't know if I had a shot at a PR or not.

Ryan and I had ran part of the finish as our warm-up so we knew where to start the finishing drive and final kick. As I approached the 2nd to last turn I noticed I had been closing the gap on the guy in front of me but still had no chance to pass him unless he had a catastrophic issue. Into that 2nd to last turn I started to push it a bit more my breathing was labored but not out of control. I built speed towards that final turn and once I completed that final turn I started to push very hard giving my final kick.

My eyes aren't 20/20 so I couldn't read the clock until I got pretty close - I saw it showing 18:13 and was excited. I knew I would get a good new PR but still remembered to run through the finish line and not to it. Had no idea what my final time was - I just knew that it was good.

After a good cool down with Ryan of just over 2 miles - we got back just in time for the awards. A guy named Adam walked up to us and we found out that Ryan was 3rd overall (Adam 4th) and I managed 5th overall. Not bad. It took a while to get to my old man's age group and was pleased with an age-group win. Second in my age group was one minute 16 seconds behind me. That is an easy age group win. I had narrowed the gap between myself and 4th place to 23 seconds (still a ton) and managed to hold the lead on 6th place to 47 seconds.

Overall a great race but I made a few mistakes. I could have cut all of the tangents a bit better and could have pushed a tiny but more. I usually want to fall to the ground at the end of a race but I didn't this time. That will have to corrected for my next 5K in early June.

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Great run Ed!! Another great PR!! You almost are defeating Ryan :)!

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Thanks Cesar! I am closing the gap ever so slightly on Ryan. What used to be more than a two minute gap that he had on me is slowly getting to be just slightly under a minute. He is a super coach and helped me get to this point. Remember though - I am 16 years older than he is - and that will be a tough issue to overcome.

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Outstanding start to what should be an outstanding year Ed!

16 years older than me? I'm pretty sure our spread in age is quite a bit smaller than that. The key, though, is that you're still on the upward slope of the improvement curve while I'm trying to avoid the downward slope. We'll see what comes in the future but I might need to be on the top of my game to keep an edge on you.

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Oops - I am off by a decade - LOL - it is only 6 years. Not sure what I was thinking.

The more I think about it, a team 5k at the MRF might be a pretty good idea. Last year's winning team (4 top scores) was 1:13:00.

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Regardless, you're still on the good side of the improvement curve and it seems like you have a distance to go before you hit the peak.

That is intriguing. 18:15 per runner for 4 runners. Even if we couldn't find 4 runners for that kind of average, I bet we could make a good showing in the standings.

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Josh knows the guy that split you and I. If we could recruit him that would put us with three at fairly well below the 18:00 average. We need to recruit him for Al's possibly as well.

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