This morning I arrived to my race's destination around 7:30AM. The race should start by 9AM. So I had to wait a few minutes before the start. I checked the course's map and walked around to check the area. It was a flat course with a mix of paved sections (parking area and paved streets) and two loops. (one around the local park and the other around the marsh)
I went into this race not fully recovered and planning to just do a little tempo run, not being too ambitious. Sometimes things just turn out better than you would have expected. Hope was on my side. My lack of recovery was the main issue.
The five miles race started around 9AM. I was being conservative and just trying to hang with the people in the front. There was a group of six runners including myself. The first mile was just to feel how things would sort out. I started in sixth place sitting behind the group. After half mile I already was fourth. And by the one mile mark I had passed two runners. Obviously the pace was too slow, except for the runner ahead of me that looked half my age and was running 5:15 per mile pace. My first mile was around 5:30 that I thought it was too fast for my actual shape going into this race.
During the entire second mile I was running by myself trying to keep an eye at the runner ahead of me. I backed off the pace but nobody was able to catch me. I passed the second mile mark in 11:13, considerable slower than the first mile. But I did not see any reason to run any faster because even if I could catch the runner ahead I would not be able to keep that pace for very long.
The third mile was more of the same. I was running by myself with the runner ahead of me gradually increasing the distance that separated us. I was feeling good the weather was just perfect, except by the little mosquitoes that would fly straight into your eyes and mouth. I passed the third mile mark in 16:56, slowing down a bit.
The fourth mile I lost sight of the runner ahead of me. He just took off. The long straight sections were gone and now we started to run all these sharp turns through the streets. My legs were starting to feel the race. My tempo run plan was going bad. I passed the fourth mile mark in 22:33.(5:36 pace)
The fifth mile was the slowest one. I started to feel a side stitch that would bother me to the finish line. All the twist and turns on the paved streets really got me. I was running well on the trails but somehow the pavement killed my legs. I passed the finish line in 28:29. Good for second place overall and first in my age division.