Sunday, July 12, 2009

Broadview Heights 5K – 19:19 !!!

I had signed up for the Broadview Hts 5K before Muddy Paws, because I want to support local races (my city, Brecksville, and Broadview Hts share schools). But after running Muddy Paws 10 miles yesterday, I was wondering if that was a good idea. Especially since I have my big race, the 50K Buckeye Trail next Saturday.

My dream has always been to break 20 minutes in the 5K. My 5K PR is 20:06 from 2005. But I have shifted to longer races and when there is a choice of 5K and a longer distance, I always run the longer distance. This year I decided to try and break the 20 minute 5K barrier. I selected two races. This was the first try and Independence 5K (in August) is the second.

My wife (Liz) also signed up, and, worried about her 5K time, drove the course and told me there was a huge uphill very close to the start, about 1/2 mile long. So this did not look like a PR course. Plus, we heard from other runners that there is a 2nd hill at the turn-around point. Oh well, it is a nice sunny & cool day (58F in the morning) so, let's go!

The race started at 8:30 am. A short flat distance, then turn left and up the hill for the first 1/2 mile. Surprisingly, I am passing people right and left, going up the hill. Then turn left at Parkway Drive. I kept passing people. My first mile time is 6:08! Wow! This is an amazing time, considering that 1/3 this mile was uphill!!! I have never run a mile that fast in a race.

At the turn around point I am counting the runners in front of me. I am 6th overall! I cross paths with Liz and she is yelling at me "number 6!!!" It seems unbelievable.... [we must have miscounted because the official results show that I am 5th overall]

But, I start to get tired. I know I cannot catch the guy in front... I am only trying to hang into 6th place. I am slowing down but keep pushing. If I make it to the last 1/2 mile, all downhill, I will be fine, I am thinking, because I am a fast downhill runner. It seems it's taking for ever to get to that point. I have my usual recurring nightmares and fears of quitting in the middle of the race (“at least, my time will be good, even if I walk the rest”, I am thinking)

Finally, I make it to the end of the road and turn right for the downhill... I try to run the downhill as fast as I can, but my legs are tired... I am now at the bottom of the hill. The guy behind me is getting closer. We turn right and we are at the final stretch. I can see/hear him, trying to catch up. But, surprisingly, I have enough strength for a sprint! So, I sprint to the finish, maintaining 6th place overall, and finishing at 19:26!!! (Official chip time: 19:19)

Needless to say, I am very happy! My goal of under 20 minutes 5K is fulfilled. Not only that, but, if you look at my Running Goal Times blog, even my “life time goal” of 19:30 is fulfilled! Great! I can now relax and stop running :) Or… maybe I can aim for 19 minutes? Hmmm….

I attribute this success to three factors:
1. My “3 pm diet” (159.5 lbs in the morning)
2. The Buckeye trail training. I have been running a lot of hard miles lately.
3. Speedwork sessions every Wednesday, thanks to Liz who makes me do them!

Back to the race… I stayed around the finish to take a picture of Liz... She finished at 26:17, a new PR for her too, and good for 3rd place Age award (50-54).

The Broadview Hts Mayor finished just a step in front of her. He must be in my age group because when he handed my award (1st age group 45-49) he said something like "I will never be as fast as you". I felt like saying "That's OK, I will never be a mayor either".

This concludes a good race weekend for me... Now rest and relaxation, in preparation for the Buckeye 50K. My goal is to run it under 5 hours. More about this in the blog to come.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Way to go, Dr. T!!! That has to be so satisfying!