01 October 2011

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Unfortunately, my performance did not match my bib number.
Well, I really wasn't going to run this thing, but when I picked up he race packet at FleetFeet Huntsville last night (just in case), they had assigned bib number #1 to me. Not because I was seeded, I wish, but because I probably registered first. I didn't really care. I just thought it would be poor etiquette to not at least show up and run, even if I couldn't quite race yet because of last weekend's 100 miler. I know, I know, I keep mentioning the Georgia Jewel 100. Sorry, but I'm going to keep bringing up this race as either an accomplishment or an excuse for quite some time to come.

I woke up, barely, at 7AM Saturday morning and fixed myself the usual cup of coffee. When I finally checked the weather on the local news, I was shocked. It showed 48 degrees for the 8AM start. I figured it wouldn't hurt to bring a warm-up jacket for before and after the race, but I still planned to race in shorts and short sleeve shirt. I made it to the race start with about 10 minutes to spare. Jason was already there, ready to accomplish yet another PR (which he did). I decided I would try to run my usual 5K race for the first mile, hanging with Jason, and then decide how to continue based on how I felt.

When the horn went off, we took off. I kept my target pace as planned, but soon after hitting the first mile marker, I decided to let Jason pull away. I was feeling tired and kept thinking in the back of my head that I really shouldn't be out here that soon after the big race. Anyway, I took my foot off the gas and settled in a slower pace. I felt pretty good, surprised by the hills on the course, but relaxed. I had decided that a PR was definitely out of the question today, so I just wanted to keep it steady and not completely fall apart. The second mile was much slower, barely under 7 minute pace, but for some reason I was picking up the pace again on the final mile, dropping to just below 6:30 pace. When I finally saw the race clock, I couldn't believe it. I was only 15 seconds off this year's PR and 30 seconds above my magic 20 minute mark. Had I just pushed a little harder. Oh well, there is plenty of other races to try yet again to break the 20 minute mark.

Come to find out, I still managed a 13th overall finish out of 140 or so runners and a 2nd place age group finish (40-49). One day this year, I will run a sub 20 minute 5K! Congrats to Jason Shattuck for another great 5K race and a new PR.

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