It has been 15 weeks since I started running again after taking 5 weeks off. With 3 weeks training for every 1 week off, I figured a short race at 15 weeks would be a good test even though I have already ran several 5Ks that were good times for me. Running has been kind of blah recently and haven't managed to run more than 40 miles most weeks. I've started regularly lifting weights and doing core work which I may have overdone a bit since on Wednesday I started to have some lower back pain at work after lifting a box. By this morning, I felt like my back was at 100% so just in time to run a race.
This is the 7th consecutive year I have run the Parley Pratt 4 mile. Temps were around 70F but humidity was 94% so a humid day. I ran a 2.5 mi warmup with Hugh and we only had a few minutes more of the pre-race ceremonies before we started. I lined up in the front and was off to what felt like a fast start. I was in 8th place until just after the first half mile, moved up to 5th place. There was a young kid ahead of me in Vibrams and long pants that I ran behind until the 2 miler. I was ready to pass him but there wasn't enough time before the turn around and he sped up when I was about to make a move. He stopped for water so that made it easy. My first mile split was 6:07, and second mile was 6:04.
On the way back, I caught up to another kid and stayed just a step behind him until the last half mile. We slowed a bit, but still a pretty good pace and no one was very close behind. Third mile was 6:17. Down to the last half mile and he pulled ahead a little and finished ahead of me. This race is always a little short so last 0.92 mi was 5:41 (6:09 pace). Overall, 4th place of 134, 24:10 and an 18 sec PR over last year's PR. The guy that won overall was in my age group so didn't win a watermelon. 2nd place overall was a female. I think they were around 2 minutes ahead of us so didn't even see them finish. I didn't have a goal going into this race and had forget to check my time from last year so last minute going into it I was hoping to maintain close to a 6 min pace.
Once my stomach settled down, I ate a few pancakes. I didn't run any cool down miles. The rest of this week will be easy miles for me so I can be ready for the Psycho Psummer on Saturday. I am a little concerned that I have not been putting in many trail miles recently and my overall mileage hasn't been that good. My last long trail run was the Berryman Marathon on May 21st. The 4 long runs I have done since have been on the road and I've only ran a couple trail runs. I am hoping I can have a better finish than my Psycho Wyco Run Toto Run 50K in February. I can be 100% sure there won't be snow on the ground for this one and I won't have back/buttock/leg issues but there will likely be heat and humidity. Maybe there won't be mud.