Before getting too deep, on to the race. Last year, I managed to break the tape at this race (while all the big boys were down at the Brentwood race). This year, I made it my goal to execute a plan and shoot for a time. If it happened to correspond with being in the hunt to win it, so be it.
The course: It starts at the Hampton Community Park by the pool, crosses the street and takes a lap around the high school before going up a BIG hill past the football stadium, take a lap around the middle school, back down the hill, back around the high school and then 0.2 back to the finish. The elevation is kind of a doosie! I clicked it off on mapmyrun.com and it is a 116 ft elevation increase in 0.28 miles
I spotted Beth as I approached the high school loop and she said 2nd was 10 seconds ahead of me (1st had pulled away). However, all I could think about was if there was anyone coming up on me so (unable to really get words out) pointed back over my shoulder and she assured me there wasn't anyone close. So, just have to lay it out there and see if I could close on 2nd. It wasn't to be and I ended up slowing down even a little more. 2nd place ended up besting me by 27 seconds but 4th was still 21 second behind me. My time ended up being 18:06
The glass-half-empty viewpoint would be that it was a half minute slower than last year and I didn't defend my title.
The glass-half-full viewpoint would be that I've been blessed to be fairly consistent in my racing (other than those pesky marathons) and this was my first 5k road race over 18:00 since May of 2010 (7 races). Also, it was hot and muggy. The temp at race time was already 80 and it was humid. We looked back on last year and it was in the low 60's. Big difference.
So, on to the next challenge. Here's the rest of the tentative summer schedule:
7/22 Quench 5k (a friend's church is putting it on to raise money for a water system in Haiti)
8/4 St. Barnabas 5k (Enjoyed my first time racing it last year)
8/11 Brookline Breeze 5k (This will be new race for me)
9/30 The Great Race (Seeded spot!)
10/21......the Columbus Marathon (that's right, I'll be subjecting myself to another shot at that 2:59:59)
A funny thing happened along the way with the Columbus Marathon. Last Thursday night, I signed up for it. Friday morning, I was going to do an hour or so run down by the Ludlum Plant. However, while going down Morgan Street I apparently was completely oblivious to this (what I recall, at least) a softball-sized rock in the middle of the road and stepped on it and rolled my ankle. It looked the same as when I rolled it playing basketball right before the Spring Thaw a few years back. I hobbled back the 2+ miles to the house thinking it may even be broke. Is this a sign to give up on marathons? Maybe?
So, my training is getting off to a bit of a slow start. I ran for 30 minutes today and it survived even though it was tender. So, I'm close to kicking off my marathon training. Just a minor delay.
I still need to get around to talking about those first-place buccos. One of these days! But, they're only at "Mile 13-14" range of their season and, as I know all too well, things can get derailed very easily once you get into the 20+ mile range.