>Look What I Can Do!>I won!
I've raced loooooots of races over the years from the mile to half ironman/ultra marathons and I'm often on the podium in local smaller races, or at least getting an age group award. But I've never won an all out running race (I won an indoor triathlon once, but it was a weird set up and went off in waves throughout the day so I didn't know I won until the results were posted a few days later).
Anyway, this weekend I actually won for a change!
A local 5k in the park across from my apt (Prospect Park, Brooklyn) that I train very regularly in and know like the back of my hand. Miles for Midwives was the race. It was perfect temp and sunny. I was feelin good.
The race had a HUGE turnout, several hundred people and many more than last year (so they said. I didn't race it last year), but when I was on the line at the start, I didn't see too much competition. I came thinking I'd get an age medal, I felt well trained (marathon next weekend and hoping to BQ). I overheard a guy and his wife(?) next to me on the line, she asked "Honey, are you going to win again this year?" and he was humble of course and said he'd have to wait and see. I leaned over and told my wife that he was the guy I'd have to chase and keep in my sights.
The race starts with about a full mile down a long and gradual hill. Nice start if you really want to crank out a fast first mile.
Gun went off and we took off. Fast.
The guy (we'll call him Red Jersey, I think that's what he was wearing) was right next to me and we were barreling down the hill. I didn't see anyone else near us, almost immediately the field was way behind.
I looked at my watch after a couple of minutes, we were doing 4:55 and I thought WAY TOO FAST. But I was feeling good, knew I was distancing myself from others and felt I could lead this guy for a mile before I burned out and he took off.
But he started to fade, and I was feeling (foolish?) fresh and good, so I kept it up.
First mile: 5:25. Wow, that was way too fast. I thought for sure I'd burn out and have a crappy final 2.1 miles, but I was happy to be in the lead and was still feelin good, so I thought, why the hell not just keep it up as long as possible.
At about 1.5 miles or so, you start a hill that's about a 1/3 a mile and pretty steep. You're making up for the long downhill first mile.
I hit the hill and was thinking I'd slow way back, but kept thinking, maaaybe I can lead this thing until mile 2, and Red Jersey can just catch me then. I know the hill, know how long I can push it and I know when and where it will easy up and that I'll feel great when it does, so I kept going.
I pushed up that hill and made it to mile 2. I was still leading. I started to imagine telling my wife I lead for a solid 2 miles before number 2 and may 3 passed me, but I was thinking I was a lock for an age group and maybe even third place.
But no one gained on me... I was too scared to glance behind so I just kept going. I felt a huge target on my back.
I got to about mile 2.5 and thought, DAMN, where IS this guy?!!! Second mile was something like 6:20 -6:30 or so, given the hill.
Then I started to imagine I jusssst might win!!?!! Now, I've never won before, like I said, so I was thinking SOMETHING would still happen but I was feelin' strong and knew I'd be happy with my own performance.
Mile 2.75 and still no one.
Then, on my right shoulder, a guy in grey and black appears!! I didn't see him at the start of the race, where'd he come from!!
NOOOOOOOOOOOO I almost screamed. I have like a quarter mile to go! He CAN'T pass me now. And he was on my right and I knew there was a slight right turn to the finish. He was in an ideal spot to take my victory!
Somewhere, I dug down and found more speed. I pushed it, dropped him a bit, and settled back. I was going too fast to maintain for long, but there wasn't long to go. He appeared again!
I swear, in my head I was yelling " PLEASE! Just let me win... for ONCE!"
But I dug deeper, found another full gear, and really pushed the pace. I must have really burned him out because I flew through the finish chute in first and Red Jersey came in 2nd place. I assume Red Jersey must have passed the grey guy in the final tenth of a mile or so.
I was elated. It didn't feel real, but I won!
My overall time was something like 18:25 (garmin said 18:30 but I pressed stop a bit after the chute). My end .1 mile or so, my sprint, was 4:35. Dunno where that came from, but it worked.
Next weekend, Mohawk Marathon. I'm hoping to PR and run 3:10 or faster to qualify for Boston. I'm feelin confident with this 5K win and Mohawk is flat, so we'll see what happens after mile 18 or 20, when it usually hits me hard! Definitely going to go out a LOOOOOTTTT slower!! ;-)
HTFU? Why not!
Congratulations. Great race report.
That's an awesome feeling, isn't it?
Great job digging down and finding what you needed to win.
What was your margin of victory over Red Jersey? Was grey guy an actual person or a figment of your imagination?
Run to Win25 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)
Run like a kid again!
Dude you rock. I am going to try this at my next 5K. I am going to go out as fast as I can and see if I can just lead a race for 1 mile and then watch people pass me the rest of the way. I just want that feeling of leading a race.
you beat those guys by 19 and 42 secs, so pretty amazing push at end.
Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and roguesWe're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes
Princess Cancer Pants
Wow...that was a nail-biter report! WAY cool...what a great speed workout before your marathon. Congrats!
• Return to kicking my own ass by 2018
She was not strong. She was valiant. Radiant. Brave and broken. The beauty she discovered in the aftermath was unparalleled to anything she had known before, because it had come at such a cost.
Adrenaline is a hell of a drug!
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Oh, I found results. Guess I really did have quite a finishing kick to out distance myself. Maybe I could have relaxed a bit afterall
My wife did awesome too, she ran a sub 9 pace which isn't a PR for her, but it's probably close. Considering she finished and ran another loop of the park (this was just a planned traning run for her) she could easily have PR'd if that had been her goal. Guess all this marathon training is paying off for both of us!
My running partner!
Great report! Congratulations!!
Queen of 3rd Place
Exciting write up! Well done! Savor it!