This race had a huge turnout and I am guessing over 500 people. We arrived around 7:35, picked up our numbers, and got a voucher to pick up a shirt next month since they ran out. I ran the course with Hugh to warm up. Temp was around 34, but quite windy. When we got back, I decided to change to a lighter jacket and take off the pants since I was getting a little warm. The race started 10 min late so a big improvement over last year. There were some issues getting people in the proper position for the starting line. There were no markers that I could see on the ground so we weren’t sure where to stand.
I signed up for the 5K this year but wasn’t sure how fast I could run due to my deconditioning over the past few weeks. Today was my 3rd day back running after 13 days off so I had no goal in mind other than to not run so hard I would hurt myself further. I wasn’t sure where to line up so stayed back a little. When we took off, I realized I should have been up closer since I passed probably 100 people.
Within the first half mile I see Paul S. ahead of me and catch up to him. I talk to him for a bit and then go ahead, but then realize that I am sucking a lot of air and going too fast. I slowed down a bit and hit first mile in 6:22. We run out to a cone to turn around and head back. I saw a lot of Columbia runners ahead of me coming back before I got to the turnaround. There was actually a 5K in Columbia for the first time on Thanksgiving, but a lot of us opted to go to Jefferson City since it is a well organized event and on a certified course with both a 5 and 10K and they give away a lot of pies.
After the turnaround, I feel like I can run a 6:40-something pace and mile 2 is 6:40. A couple guys had caught up to me, but stayed with me. About 2.8 mi, I leave one of them behind. At this point we are on the trail headed to the finish. I sped up and passed a couple more guys before the finish but there were also 10K runners and I didn’t notice which race they were running. My third mile was 6:39 and last 0.19 mi at 6:09 pace for a total of 20:50 (6:32/mi). I probably ran the first mile a little fast for the shape I am in, but was happy that I held on the 2nd and 3rd mile. I was glad I wasn’t running the 10K at this pace which would have been impossible today.
I found Hugh who finished less than 1.5 min behind me and we ran a 3.4 mi cool down after he ate his doughnut. I couldn’t eat at that point and was glad when we started running since I felt I really need to wind down. When we were done I ate too many doughnuts, we waited for the awards (didn’t win anything), and didn’t have my number drawn for a pie either.
I didn’t feel like the medial tendon injury is what slowed me down since it felt pretty good while I was running. I can be thankful that I am just out of shape to run that fast. I will see if I can get my 5K back under 19 soon.