Did a warm-up run with Eric in the morning. Two Slate Canyon Loops with a 600 m acceleration in the middle in 1:54. Then ran with Benjamin and Jennifer.
In the afternoon, went to the track meet. It was windy - 11 mph going exactly along the home stretch. You get 100 m tail, 200 m cross, and 100 m head wind. So the times were slow. I was able to get some of my goals, but not all. I avoided being lapped, but only barely. 10 people started the race. If you count the two guys that were already behind me when they dropped out, I did not finish last. The time, however, was more suitable for a tempo run than a 5 K track race - 16:51.
I was able to stay with the pack for the first three laps, which we did in 76 seconds each. It felt good. Then on the fourth lap, the pack started to separate. I figured the slower part of the pack would not slow down very much, and provide some windshield for me. This was a mistake. 4:45 at 1500 m. Then the guy in front of me I was using to draft off all of a sudden slowed down to a pace that felt like a jog. We did this 100 m in 20 seconds. I waited for the end of the headwind stretch, and then passed him. In the next two laps I found out why he slowed down so much so soon. The wind had an effect of making you work harder, and get tired sooner. I hit the next lap in 80, and it went downhill from there. 9:50 for 3000 m (3:25, 82 per lap), 13:20 for 4000 m (3:30, 84 per lap), and last 1000 m in 3:31 (84 per lap). Barely escaped having Joe Bendoski lap me.
Ran back to my house from the meet. Benjamin insisted on joining me, so I took him. He had already done his hard run earlier, but nevertheless he ran another 3 miles back home at 9:00 pace.
The experience confirmed to me that the correct strategy for running on a windy day is to stay with the front pack as close to the leader as possible, but behind him until you are ready to puke. Then back off, and every time you get passed, if you do, draft behind the person who has passed you until you are ready to puke.
Too bad it was not a normal race. I do not really know what this performance really means. To what extent did I slow down because of having to break the wind by myself, and to what extent because I lacked the fitness to do 76 second laps? I noticed that the end of that 5 K started feeling more like a threshold pace tempo run, but there seemed to be nothing I could do to make it faster. This is also how I felt in the other 5 K ran earlier this year. First mile in 5:02, and then 5:20-5:25 pace for the rest of it, does not hurt, but cannot go any faster. This is not how I felt when I ran 15:37 in Draper Days in 2004. It hurt start to finish, and I was anaerobically tired for the rest of the day. I suppose to run a good 5 K takes some practice to teach your body to run anaerobically for the 15 whole minutes of it, not just the first 5. I need to look more closely at the log entries to see what works well for this.