This morning was the Earth, Wind, & Fire 5K on campus. This three year old race coincides with the Institute of Natural Resources Sustainability expo (which coincides with Engineering Open House). I ran this 5K two years ago when it when it was 13˚ with 25 mph winds. Today we only had to contend with the misty morning. I've been ridiculously busy at work lately. In fact, I didn't get much more than four hours sleep any night this week. 7:30 came way too soon this morning.
The start is less than a mile from home so I ran over, registered, stretched, and headed to starting line. There would be no practice start this year. One guy immediately shot off the front and built a huge lead in the first 100 meters.
It took me a good ¼ mile to settle into a good rhythm, after which point I held the leader in my sights at roughly the same distance for about 1½ miles.
I slowed significantly in the second half of the race. The leader pulled away from me, but there was also quite a bit of space behind me. The gaps were large.
Despite fading at the end I still finished in a respectable time of 18:33 (5:59/mile pace). This isn't where I would want to be in August, but for March I'll take it. In order to keep things interesting I do mostly long distance training (with very little speed work) during the winter and I do mostly short/fast training (with very little distance) during the summer. Coming up with a little speed this early in the year is encouraging.
I finished 2nd overall and 1st in the 30-39 age group. The awards were a unique (for a race award) plaster cast of a Trilobite fossil.
After the race I ran home with my Trilobite, gulped a bit of water, then headed back out for another 9 miles (14 total). You see, there's this marathon coming up, and running a short race doesn't get me off the hook for my weekly long run (though apparently a 108 mile bike ride does?).
Many thanks to Melissa and Will for coming out to cheer me on and take photos. The bright/distinctive shoes/gloves/shirt sure must make it easy for them to spot me out on the course.