14 May 2012


Another nice race t-shirt for a worthy cause.
After taking a pretty long break from racing 5K road races (other than pacing my wife at Cookie Dash 5K), it was time to toe the line for the first time this year. With the Cotton Row 5K and 10K races just two weeks away, I needed to see where I was speed-wise. I had mainly done longer, slower ultra distance races this year and while I had been doing lots of challenging trail training runs and hill workouts, I have not been working on speed specifically. Even worse, I haven't done any track workouts or 400 or 800 meter repeats in over a year. It showed. While I was able to run almost exactly the same pace as my most recent 5K races, I missed a sub 20 minute finish by 25 seconds, which means the Spooktacular 5K last year still stands as my only sub 20 min 5K finish time. In any case, I did come to the conclusion that I need to start doing track work if I want to break 20m minutes again and do so consistently.

The David McKannan ALS Run is a worthy cause and I was happy to see that almost 250 runner registered according to the RD in only its third year. Unfortunately, it appears only 140 or so runners actually finished the race, but it is definitely a success in my book, since 250 folks donated funds through their registration to this worthy cause.

I didn't decide to enter this event until Saturday morning. My buddy Ed Johnson had mentioned that he was registered during our trail training run the day before and while I had no plans to race initially, I needed to gauge where I was. I wanted to do well at Cotton Row and this would be a great tune up race. Ed and I stayed together for the first 1mile or so. I was able to maintain target pace through the first mile and while I did drop of during mile 2, it wasn't as dramatic a drop as in previous races. Unfortunately, I slipped a little further during the third mile as well. Overall, 8 seconds per mile faster would have gotten me the sub 20 minute finish I seek so desperately. While there are some small hills, this is a rather fast course and folks should sign up for this one next year as a perfect place to see the Old Towne neighborhood and challenge a PR at the same time.

When I crossed the finish line in 20:26, I had missed a PR, but I had won 8th overall and first in my age group and that is fine by me. Hopefully, some actual track work will help me improve. Thanks to all the volunteers and the RD for putting on a great event just 5 minutes from my house:-)

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