Park Avenue 5K

My favorite 5K race was this morning. Minutes from the house (10). Always cool weather (50F). Lots of runners and walkers (1,155 men, 1,539 women). Good times. Good times (4 top ten PRs at 5K).

It's my birthday and I immediately showed my age. I forgot my ChampionChip.

I had to re-register just minutes before the race. The only consequence to that was that the corral was very full when I went to line up. They had pace time signs to guide folks to where they should start. I only got up to about the 9-minute pace sign before the crowd was unnavigable.

The first mile was heavily congested not only with slower runners but also the clueless crowd of joggers and walkers who are inevitably unaware of pace signs. I was constantly having to slow down or weave. The first mile was 8:21 and I was 36 seconds behind the clock time.

I had my watch timer set to 8:00 pace. It beeped just before the second mile clock. Thanks to a more open road I had a 7:53.4 time for the middle split.

I passed "Helga from Stockholm" in the third mile (she PRed in 25:04) with a surge that surprised me. I held on to it for awhile and kept pushing down the home stretch, that last quarter mile where you can see the finish line and hear the cheers and announcer calling out names.

I legged it through and over the mats with a 7:35.1 third mile and 0:53.2 last tenth.

Net time - 24:37.
20th of 82 in age division.

I knew in the first mile I had no chance for a PR because of the crowding but I resolved to go hard and see how it turned out. It was such a great race morning.

Today was my 39th 5K race and my time ranked 8th among them. I was about a minute slower than last year which was my second best ever race in 23:36.

I realized while looking through my race records that since late 2005 I have run short distances (10K or less) a lot less than I used to. I've only done one 10K and that was March of '06.

The shift to marathons has taken its toll that way. Not so much in race times but I bet if I worked more on speed all the time I could bust down those 5K and 10K PRs. It's all a matter of what goals you have. I like the marathons. Here's a list why:
  1. Travel opportunities to places I've not seen before
  2. Seeing a city or town in a way nobody else can appreciate
  3. Staying with friends who I might not otherwise ever see again
  4. RBF meet-ups with my world of closest friends - yes you
  5. "Status" race shirts and gear from big races
  6. Training discipline. I might not be out there so devotedly if not for the 16-week training cycles
  7. High good cholesterol counts and low ratios of bad to good, meaning no meds
  8. Eating practically anything I want diet
  9. Self esteem
  10. Holding off the aging process
  11. Glycogen depletion trauma in miles 20-26 is as good as it gets if you like to go to the dentist like I do
  12. Constant source of inspiration and good spirits


peter said...

Hey, Happy Birthday! And you got to race on it also.

What a special day for a birthday you have, too.

jeanne said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! what a great way to celebrate!

You're right, of course, it's the m-training that keeps you from working on speeding up in the shorter distances. But you're still pretty dang FAST.

Fantastic list! I'm stealing it for half-marathons. :)

Hope you get loads of fab presents--life begins at 39!!

Just12Finish said...

Happy Birthday young fella!

That's a good time, are you kidding me? Fantastic!

That's a great list too. I can connect with every single one, even down to the dentist.

Maddy said...

Happy Birthday my friend!

It was so crowded this morning. I also had a negative split for the second mile.

I was hoping to see you, but because of the crowd, I'm not surprised I didn't run into you.

It sounds like you had a pretty nice race - no complaints there!

Did you get the omlette after?

ShirleyPerly said...

Happy Birthday! No worries about forgetting your chip, there were many who did (I helped with race registration this morning). I totally agree with your why-I-love-marathons list. This year, however, I hope to run my first 10K and my second 5K to get more experience with the shorter races.

Joe said...

Hey, Happy Birthday!! Way cool!!

Nice race...way to motor on in miles 2-3

Mega dittos on your list...you said it better than I could. Thanks!!

Enjoy your week!

Tiggs said...

Happy Birthday!!!!!

Great post- almost made me want to run another marathon...almost...but not quite! LOL!

Rae said...

Great job on the race and happy belated birthday!!!!!

Dying Water Buffalo said...

That's a cool list regarding why you like marathons!

Bex said...

Happy Belated Birthday! And that's a pretty damn good 5K time. Thanks for your kind comments re my Carlsbad marathon experience.

Darrell said...

Sorry, I am woefully behind. Happy very belated birthday. I am in total agreement with you list on the marathon distance.