Talk about a last-minute decision. We'd discussed possibly running in the Race2Recycle yesterday. Piedmont Park is less than a mile away so how lazy would we be if we didn't run in it?
This morning, it seemed nice to stay in a sleep a while. But still, we made our way to the park for registration.
It was a pretty small group but a really nice day to run with temperatures about 40 degrees.
We started out with a fast first mile. I couldn't initially get my watch to start when the race started (there were a bunch of pre-race speeches and my watch went back to hibernation).
I thought my watch said "7:05" -- so my thoughts already were on trying to break my personal best, set June 5th in the Virginia-Highland Summerfest 5K run. The Garmin data, below, shows I ran about a 7:27 first mile.
I felt pretty comfortable after the first mile and when we got to the bowl section of the park (near Park Tavern), I tried to work my way to a group of three runners. My plan was to just try to settle in with them and then figure things out for the rest of the way.
But around the curve I ended up breaking free of them. I continued my way around the bowl and up its ramp. The course wound around a short side of the lake. Luckily I was probably about 100 feet behind a female runner who had a good pace going up the hill. (She eventually became the first overall female runner about 20 seconds behind me).
I caught up with her at the top of the hill that's just above the park's track and then started to make my way down it toward the finish. When I turned the corner and passed "Mile 3" I looked at my watch and then just gunned it in about three waves.
I beat my PR by about 17 seconds and finished 11th overall in the race. My fiancee placed first in her age category and was the fourth female overall.
I think the relatively flat race helped me, plus being able to pace myself behind the fast female runner at the right time of the race. I'm probably lighter than I've been in the past and running at least 4 miles a day also helps.
But what a nice way to finish the week and start out the day.
Time: 8:36 a.m.
Temp: 40 degrees
Gear: Tech T, short (Atlanta Green Dash 5K), Tech T long, shorts, Nike Air Pegasus+ 26/D.