For the win and a free turkey.
I had been thinking was my last shot at sub-20 for the year, and even though it's a very small race, I thought it didn't really matter - I just needed a race with a timer.
Got my warm up in with a few strides and drills, and the time on the track infield was really good. Wore the swamp singlet and gloves, I think most locals thought I was a weirdo. But I thought, what the hell, it's 20 minutes and it's what the fast people do.
Lined up and looked around, Dick said I was going to get chicked by a woman that came down from away. There were a couple track looking 20ish year olds that I was sure were going to be the winners if the woman wasn't, and I would be in 5th or 6th and all would be good.
Took off with the leaders, and by a couple hundred yards at the first turn into the JH I had a nose in the lead. It was the first time evah, so thought I wouldd enjoy it. I had thoughts of the people I knew behind me thinking I was pulling a cuch, and would die soon enough. When I looked at my Garmin and saw 5:15 pace, I thought the same.
But I lengthened my stride a bit and just settled in - just wanted to run even. I've been focused on my stride lately, most specifically my arms. I really think this is helping me. As we ran through the HS parking lot, I didn't hear footsteps any longer. This is weird.
Left turn onto the trails I look back and (I'll call her Blondie) Blondie was maybe 30 yards back but sorta looked to be by herself. On the trails tried to just be smooth but all I could think was when is somebody gonna pass me already? I'd be able to tell people yeah I had the lead all the way to mile 1 or whenever.
Passed mile one and some volunteers, 6:10. Too fast, but I still felt decent. Nothing like Father's Day when I went out at this pace and was dying at 0.5. Sharp left up the hill out of the trail, tried to run it hard to gain ground before she turned the corner and saw me. Side streets, passed second mile a little slower. Form was deteriorating a little, I was sure she would see this. But then we flattened off the hills and I was able to regain form. Just pump your arms and try to control breathing.
Turned another corner and another peek, the gap was a little wider. WTF? Down the hill, back onto the trail, past mile 2.5 or so I'm thinking what the hell, am I really going to win this? Noted here is that this is the first time I've gotten the "feeling like I might puke at a 5K feeling". Weird.
Passed some volunteers at 2.7 or so who yelled "congratulations" which I thought waas my death knell. Kept going up the small hill and turned the corner and saw 19:0X. No way. I hadn't really done the math, but I guess that's what it was. No one ever got real close. Just surreal afterward with all these people who appear fitter than me congratulating me.
Now the ball's in your court again, Cremer.
I wanted to add here how perfectly fine I felt within 2 minutes of finishing. No leg soreness, not much fatigue even. Dick said it didn't even really look like I was working when I finished, and really I don't remember getting to the point where I thought I had to slow. In fact, I asked "is that it?" when I crossed the line because I was afraid I was stopping before the finish. And all this after running 15 yesterday with the Coach. Maybe that's the secret.
Also wanted to add that this is clearly a direct result of the work I put in over the year, specifically the mileage this summer. No speedwork in over a month, and i've barely been running and not even that well. This came outta nowhere. It would be a mistake to think that this was a result of being more rested, because that's too shortsighted.
MTA: What the hell? Saw the results finally and it says 19:12. No way. I was actually thinking 19:03 or :04 was what the real time was - wasn't even close to 19:12. Damnit.