A.M. Ran Heart of Holladay 5 K in 16:38, 9th place. The race was very competitive as expected. The whole family came. It does not happen very often anymore due to the difficulty of bringing everybody at an early hour. But Benjamin and Jenny were racing, and Sarah wanted to go to a special discount grocery store (NPS) in Salt Lake, so we all came.
Warmed up 2 miles. The gun went off, and I really did not like being in a 5 K. I wanted it to be a 10 K. But you cannot place high in the circuit without running 5 Ks, and we were also doing a campaign for Kim to get into St. George, so I was there. Plus a little push and a kick in the pants a hard 5 K gives you is good once in a while. A fairly sizeable pack pulled away. I considered going with them, but then I saw that Nate Hornok and Matt Harmer were going out a little slower, and I fell for the temptation to run with them. The slow start was right for them but wrong for me. They would later be strong on the uphill if they started slow, but I would run it at the same pace regardless of how I started. I knew that, but I erred on the side of laziness anyway. First mile in 5:14 instead of a more appropriate 5:08 on a slight rolling uphill.
The second mile starts with a slight up, then goes down, and flattens out. Matt dropped back a bit, we passed James Moore (Fiddy), Nate pulled me up closer to Steve Ashbaker, John Coles, and Dave Spence. Josh Steffen was a bit ahead of them, then Dennis Simonaitis and Alexander Thomas together, and Teren Jameson ahead of everyone. I caught a 3 K split - 9:41. By that time Nate was starting to press the pace, and I was barely hanging on. The feeling was odd, though previously experienced and expected. I felt like if I eased off by as little as 5 seconds a mile I could race a 15 K or maybe even a half. But I could not find 5 seconds a mile within me to run one more mile 5 seconds faster. In theory you should be able to address that with speed work. In practice, what has happened in the past is that speed work does help me keep the gap between the half and the 5 K pace bigger, but mostly because the half is slower. I gain 10-15 seconds in a 5 K and lose a minute in the half compared to high mileage, and no speed work other than occasional tempos and races.
2 miles in 10:25 (5:11). That is encouraging. Not 10:25, but 5:11 after 5:14. Maybe the momentum would help be get up the hill at a good pace. Well, we hit the uphill. I did not feel too miserable. But I could not go any faster. Nate pulled away like there was no tomorrow. But that time I had passed Steve, but everybody else was still ahead. Matt Harmer went by, and I could not latch on him. I closed the gap on John Cole a bit. Once it flattened out I pulled up to him, he pressed harder and dropped me, I pulled up again, he pressed again and dropped me, I reeled him in, 3 miles in 16:04 (uphill mile in 5:39, unspectacular but not exceptionally horrible). I was about to pass him, and thought for a moment the deal was done and was planning a forward lean at the finish line, but then he found another gear and beat me by a second. My time on the watch was 16:36, officially 16:38. Others:
Teren 15:18, Dennis 15:44, Alexander 15:56, Nate 16:02 (his last 1.1 split was 5:38, same as Teren's), Josh 16:07, Dave 16:19, Matt 16:25, John 16:37, Steve 16:48, James 16:52.
Went back to pace Benjamin (9 years old). His back and muscles all over the body have been hurting lately (growth pains?) so I was not expecting much. He toughed it out and finished in 22:09, 2nd place in his age division (1-11) after Alexander Berry who got 21:23. Jenny goofed off today. I think she is still too little to run well without a pacer. When I found her, she was jogging along (without much effort) with a 6 year old girl at around 8:30 pace. I suppose Jenny was feeling overwhelmed by the adult crowd and decided to just run alongside a little kid. I told her to speed up, which she did, but not enough to drop her. They both started flying by the adult crowd. Jenny's 6 year old competitor was quite a speedy girl. At the end Jenny pulled ahead of her competitor, which gave her third place in her age division (1-11) and 26:19 for the time, which is quite a bit slower than what she was capable of. We'll try again in another race, this time I'll be there start to finish. Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that even with this level of effort Jenny (7 years old) would have gotten an age division award in a number of non-master adult age divisions.
On the positive side, our blogger Kim Lee who we put on the forms got into St. George. This is good not only for Kim but also for the blog. Will make it easier to convince race directors to advertise their races with us.
Passed out the FRB/St. George Running Center cards. Benjamin, Jenny, and especially Julia helped. Then ran a short cool down. Will run more tonight.
T4 Racer - 168.59 miles.
P.M. 1.1 with Julia in 11:14, then 11.5 with Daniel in 1:19:32. We kept it brisker than normal, but still within an acceptable range. The temperatures were in the 80s. The asphalt was warm and soft and I could feel it in Five Fingers. So sub-7:00 happened more naturally than it normally does when it is only 50-60 degrees and the asphalt is hard. Interestingly enough, I was not the only creature that liked warm asphalt today. We saw a short green snake warming itself on the trail and I jumped over it. Ran at 5:30 pm, had no food or drink since about 1:30 pm, but I was not feeling either hungry or thirsty, so I decided to see how well I will do in the heat off blood volume. Did OK, could not feel the heat very much.
Five Fingers - 390.19 miles.